Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Holiday Meal Planning

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countdown christmas

{If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series you can find them here.}

Yesterday we started organizing our holiday get togethers, but there is one very important component that I left out (intentionally — because it deserves its own post).

Holiday Meal Planning.

Usually a big meal is the reason why people get together in the first place.  Well, besides all of the visiting with friends and loved ones, of course.  Of course!  But if you throw people together in a room for very long food should probably be present.  I’m just saying.  It’s like icing on the cake… pardon the pun.

A couple of weeks ago I did a post in this series about writing down all of your favorite holiday recipes.  This will tie back to that, because they work best hand in hand.  If you have all of your recipes together the holiday meal planning is so much easier.  You know exactly what you’re going to cook, how long it will take and what you need to have on hand.  {Don’t worry about the state of your pantry or shopping lists just yet; we’ll talk more about those things in a day or two.}

Last year at our Thanksgiving meal we had so many things that needed to go into the oven at different times, temperatures, and lengths that I drew out our “lineup” (the names of the recipes) on a dry erase board (in a single column).  Then in the next column I put what temperature it needed.  The next column was for how long the item needed to cook.  The last column was for what time we should put the food into the oven as to give us ample time before lunch time.  It worked wonderfully!  I thought it would be a great idea to bring the same idea to paper.  (It fits easier into you CCJ that way. :))

The same principle can also be used if you’re just having a nice Christmas meal with your immediate family.  There will probably be less food involved, but I’d bet it would come together more smoothly if a system was in place.

If you’re hosting a potluck instead of cooking everything yourself maybe you should contact each person bringing a dish to see if it will need to be warmed, etc.  It might help keep things organized when your guests start arriving with vehicles full of things that need to be reheated!

And now, the homework:

Today’s Assignment:  Go back through your recipes that you’ve already written down.  Make any additions or subtractions to those.  Start thinking about the order in which these food items will have to be prepared.  Some can be prepared weeks in advance (and I’m totally for that) but they’ll probably still need to be reheated on party day.  You don’t have to set anything in stone just yet, but just start making a few plans here and there.

Today’s Printable:  CCJ holiday meal planner.  

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Welcome | Happily A Homemaker

  2. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Holiday Baking | Happily A Homemaker

  3. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Binder Prep and Organizing | Happily A Homemaker

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