1. Create a Schedule
Before Thanksgiving or Christmas meals at our house, I list out everything I plan on making along with roughly how long the prep and cook times are for each item. I determine what I can make in advance, say a day or 2 prior, and lay out a schedule for what needs to be made the day of.
We’re lucky enough to have a double oven, so I even lay out what will be in each oven and when. This way, I can glance at the list often to make sure we’re on track, and nothing ever gets left to burn accidentally!
I’m so thankful that my husband loves to cook, so we pull equal weight in the kitchen during big holiday meals. If you have someone in your household capable of helping out, ask them to! Even if it’s just to run out for a forgotten ingredient or pour you a glass of wine here and there, take any help you can get.
I also like to ask family members to bring something along that they like and that can be shared with others. My mom eats gluten-free, so she’ll often bring gluten-free pies that everyone loves. That means I don’t need to make any! My brothers who don’t like to cook are tasked with bringing beer and wine, which means less for me to store in the fridge leading up to the big day, and more room for the turkey!
3. Don’t Aim for Perfection
Chances are, you are entertaining family members and close friends, they will forgive you if something isn’t perfect. In fact, they probably won’t even notice.
Don’t worry about having the perfect table decor if your nephews are just going to use the decorative ornaments as baseballs before dinner is even served. Don’t worry about making a fancy 27-ingredient stuffing when stores like Trader Joe’s make such a great heat and serve option! Just be genuine and put love into your meal and everyone will be happy.
4. Take Time to Decompress
Put the turkey in the oven and go for a walk, do some yoga, take a hot bath, have a mimosa, or maybe even all of the above. You have a busy day ahead, so use the early morning hours before the rush to take some time out and relax. You’ve already grocery shopped, planned out the meal and probably even prepped a few dishes. You’re halfway done! Celebrate your progress and pamper yourself a bit.
5. Make it Fun!
Of course it’s always best to stick to tried and true recipes so you don’t end up with mysteriously runny stuffing like I did last year while attempting a great-sounding crock pot recipe. However, if you can find something new that’s really fun and really simple, go for it!
I love the idea of making Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes (pictured above) with DairyPure milk and whipping cream. It’s pretty much a foolproof recipe, and who doesn’t love a milkshake?! Here in sunny San Diego, it’ll probably be 75 degrees during our holiday meals anyway, so it’ll make for a nice treat!
DairyPure milk is a great, simple milk choice for moms and is available from your local dairy. DairyPure milk is also the only milk backed by an exclusive 5 Point Purity Promise:
• No artificial growth hormones*
• All milk is tested for antibiotics
• Continuously quality tested to ensure purity
• Only from cows fed a healthy diet
• Cold shipped fresh from your local dairy
*No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from cows treated with the artificial growth hormone rbST and non‐rbST‐treated cows.
I hope these 5 Worry Free Tips for Holiday Entertaining were of help to you! Please feel free to leave some of your own tips in the comments below!