The holidays are here, and with it comes fun and festivities, family gatherings and happy memories. Of course, there is also a laundry list of tasks to accomplish, gifts to buy, stress to manage and meals to plan!
Stephanie Allen, co-founder and president of Dream Dinners, has a few tips to make the holidays a little easier and buy you some quality time with your family.
- Choose menu items that can be made ahead, like soups and stews – which are perfect cold-weather food, too. Quiches and tarts freeze well, and can be made well ahead of time.
- Save time on outdoor décor by choosing standout pieces. An eye-catching wreath on the front door or potted evergreens on the front stoop work well and give you back the hours you would have spent stringing twinkle lights.
- Buy gifts in bulk. Buy a case of wine or champagne and send each of your guests home with a bottle. You can also double your batches of cookies, and send guests home with a tin of your favorites.
- When it comes to decorating the house, keep it simple. Fill glass bowls and containers of varying shapes and sizes with vintage ornaments or twinkle lights. It’s simple, beautiful and keeps your décor looking cohesive throughout the house.
- Create a budget and a gift list before you leave the house. Then, organize your list by categories such as clothes, electronics, toys. This way you only have to make one quick trip to each store.
- Set your table the night before your holiday party or dinner so there is no last-minute table styling stress. Label serving dishes with Post-its, pairing utensils with them in advance. This makes it easy to ensure you’ve accounted for each dish, and keeps you organized in the rush before dinner is served.
- Consider serving dinner as a buffet instead, so you can enjoy the party you worked so hard to create. Just be sure to pull the buffet away from the wall. This allows your guests to serve themselves from all sides of the table, and prevents lines from forming.
- Have fun with a “recipe remix” and turn your favorite recipes into easy appetizers. Make your meatloaf recipe into meatballs, or try something new like skewering strips of your Dream Dinners’ Herb Crusted Flank Steak.
Got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments! Learn more about Dream Dinners at dreamdinners.com.