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Planning is key to stress-free holiday


April 7, 2011


At FixMyRecipe.com, holidays are a tradition; it's a time for families and friends to gather and consume mass quantities of delicious foods. And while such gatherings can be joyous and satisfying, they can also be highly stressful.

Reduce your holiday stress with these simple Fix My Recipe steps:

-Start with a plan that includes your menu, shopping list, guest list, and things to do around the house (clean, table set-up, decorating, etc).

-Don't try to cook anything new for the holiday meal. Use your tried and tested recipes so the menu is easy and familiar to you.

-Better yet, organize a potlock. Create a list of food groups and drinks you'd like to serve, and invite your guests to choose the menu items they want to bring.

-Only the turkey must be prepared the day of the meal. Prepare all your side dishes in the days preceeding the holiday.

-Do everything you can ahead of time, and mark the schedule on a calendar. Get your house and floor cleaning done a few days ahead. Clean your serving dishes and tableware, and set the table, then cover it to keep it nice until the big meal.

-Get a good night's sleep the night before your holiday meal. Do not work on the meal after 8 p.m. Have a glass of wine, get to bed by 10 p.m. If you stop working on your meal plans a few hours before you go to bed, you will sleep better.

-If you need help, ask for it. Involve your guests in last-minute meal preparations. They'll be happy to help.

-Don't bother with seating charts unless absolutely necessary. If you must specify where people should sit, use little pumpkins or squash for placeholders.

-Keep your supplies of alcholic beverages limited. Sometimes guests won't leave until the wine, beer and cocktails stop flowing.

-At the end of the meal, accept offers from your guests to help clean up, and invite them all to take their dishes to the kitchen. We don't recommend using disposable plates and diningware for holiday meals, but if you must, please remember to recycle!