A Stress-free Holiday Meal – Step 5: Extra Tasks

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The last and easiest step to creating a stress-free holiday is compiling a list for your guests who volunteer to help. In the past I’ve tried to do everything myself, and it’s so hard! I’m left working the whole time and my guests aren’t able to interact with me because I’m in the kitchen focusing on getting things done; then I miss out on all the fun stuff that’s happening. Not anymore! This year, I’m taking steps to include my guests in the process, allowing them to contribute to the meal, and allowing me to give up some of the burden and have a stress-free holiday meal!

I’m lucky this year, all my guests are family and I can count on helping hands to complete the whole list. If you don’t have that luxury, this list will be a nice way to compile all the extra, non-cooking tasks you’ll have to do. That being said, when serving a large meal, it’s always best to enlist a helper from time to time throughout the process, even if it’s just for the little things; don’t feel guilty – even asking someone to take food out to the table is a big help, yet it’s an incredibly easy thing to do. Anyone who will be eating the meal will be more than happy to get things moving to dinner!

After creating the schedule for the day of the meal, I pulled out the tasks that I could have my helpers accomplish, along with other tasks like setting the table and serving drinks; I still have my master list with all the tasks, but I highlighted the ones that are on the Extra Task list, so I know which ones will be taken care of and I can also remember to check that they have been done. It’s really not a long list, but it’s just enough to really make a difference in my workload:

12:00

  • Set Table for appetizers
  • Get drinks together
  • Take out cranberry sauce

3:00

  • Take out broccoli salad and lemon tart
  • Clear away appetizers

3:30

  • Put cake on cake stand
  • Plate salad and cranberry sauce
  • Set Table for dinner
  • Check drinks

4:00

  • Plate potatoes, gravy
  • Place all the dishes at the table
  • Carve Turkey (Tony)

This is a great way to get your family and guests, especially little helpers, involved – in the end, you’ll all sit down to a wonderful meal that everyone has contributed to!

 

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