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Fun Christmas Cooking for Everyone

sneaking a santa cookie

snowbear via morguefile.com

It’s great to have friends and family over for Christmas, but if you’re the one stuck in the kitchen doing all the cooking every year, that’s not so much fun. One way to avoid this is by rotating locations for the festivities from one year to the next. Another way — a much simpler way — is to delegate items of contribution from all guests in attendance each year so that the cooking and meal preparation duties are shared among them all.

Of course this isn’t a perfect plan. Pot lucks can often lack the flavor compliments that a meal prepared by one individual may have. So, another great plan is to prepare pieces and parts of your Christmas dinner well ahead of time. With careful planning there are recipes that can be prepared as much as a few weeks ahead of the big day and stored either in air tight containers at room temperature or frozen for heating or baking on the big day for best results. Any of the prep work that can be taken care of before the big day is one less thing to be taken care of when the time comes and that takes a load off your mind.

Make lists, for they are wonderful things. If you learn to live by your lists you will wonder how on earth you ever got anything done without them. When you are planning your Christmas dinner, write down everything you plan to have, who is bringing what, what you are making, and what ingredients will be needed to complete each and every single dish. Go through your pantry and see which items you have in abundance and which items you will need to prepare the meals. Head to the store at least a week ahead of the big day and purchase all but the fresh ingredients you will need in order to prepare your Christmas feast.

Another thing you will need to do is make sure you have a list of all the non-food items you will need to stock ahead of time. Make sure all the bathrooms are stocked, that you have plenty of garbage bags, waste baskets, paper plates, cups, napkins, cutlery, and other items needed when your guests begin to arrive. These are little things that matter and may get overlooked if you fail to plan ahead.

You should also make a list of decorations, invitations, and gifts or games you may need to purchase for the day, as well. You want your day to go as smoothly as possible and you want everyone to feel wanted and appreciated. It may be a great idea to pick up a couple of generic gifts for a male or female in case someone unexpected shows up (you really never know) and have extra wrapping paper and supplies on hand in case someone has an emergency rewrap (such as a kid opened a gift intended for someone else). Most importantly, plan to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy as much of the festivities as possible.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.