Planning dinner on a regular school night can be a struggle sometimes, so if the thought of planning dinner for a large gathering this holiday season has you in knots, don’t worry! The folks at Dream Dinners, a meal-assembly program that lets parents plan and prepare a month’s worth of meals in advance, have a few tips on how to make holiday entertaining stress-free (or at least stress-less):
- Don’t stress about the dinner table. Invite the kids to help with the table settings and decorations. Whether it’s the place runner, the centerpiece, or even the nametags for each guest, they will love getting to be a part of the big day.
- Spice up those family cookie recipes by adding a holiday twist like sprinkles, frosting, or adding peppermint bark into the mix.
- Do a “recipe remix” and turn your favorite recipes into easy appetizers. Make your meatloaf recipe into meatballs, or try something new like skewering bite-sized pieces of your Dream Dinners’ Herb Crusted Flank Steak.
- Tackle some of the party prep work the night before, especially if you know you’re going to be busy in the kitchen the next day. Labeling serving dishes or preparing your dining table in advance can save you more time than you think.
- Invite the kids to plan an after-dinner activity. Whether it’s listening to classic Christmas carols or letting them read a Christmas book like the “Polar Express” aloud, they will be excited to be in charge of something the whole family will enjoy.
- If you’re hosting a lot of family members consider creating a buffet table. This not only frees up table space for decorations, but it involves less prep work and clean up.
- Invite the kids to be the “chef’s assistant” in the kitchen. No matter how small their contribution, allowing them to help you prepare dinner will result in them feeling even more excited about the meal.
- Create holiday conversation starters for family dinners. Have everyone around the table answer questions such as “What are you most thankful for?” or “What is your favorite holiday movie?”
Learn more about Dream Dinners and find nearby spots at dreamdinners.com.