Is your holiday planning in full swing yet? Have you started to panic because you’re not ready for the holidays, but can’t stand the thought of fighting the crowds at the mall? In my series on Stress-less Holidays I’m sharing my top 25 secrets for navigating the holidays with ease. In part three of this series I’m sharing meal-oriented tips for easier, stress free holiday gatherings.
- Don’t buy special dishes to use just one day a year. Special dishes look lovely in the catalogues and Interior Decorating magazines, but they cause a real storage nightmare. Think about your kitchen, don’t all your regular dishes have a home in the cupboards and shelves? Where will you put the “special” dishes between meals? These fun dishes end up taking up valuable counter space and becoming a nuisance, creating unexpected stress. Focus on special table decorations and napkins for holiday flair instead.
- Serve non-key meals buffet style. Buffet style meals allow you to cater for different size appetites and manage the comings and goings of different folks with ease. Reduce your stress and let people serve themselves when they get hungry.
- Cheat on the home-made goodies. I love home-made goodies at the holiday and many of my childhood memories of the holidays revolve around baking with my Mother. But if you are short of time here’s a quick trick. Buy the best brand of plain items such as mince pies or cookies, and then frost and decorate them yourself. A simple icing and some coloured sugar can make a plain cookie into a something that looks like you slaved for days.
- Buy some Healthy Snack items. One of the pleasures of the holidays is constant snacking on goodies. Look after your waistline and well-being by incorporating healthy snacks; dried fruit, nuts, or veggies with hummus or low fat dip. You can prepare bags of veggies ahead of time so that they are easily popped on a plate with dipping sauces. Make sure that any food item that is left out for nibbling is well out of the reach of family pets!
- Use decorative paper plates and napkins to save washing up time. This tip may not be hugely eco-friendly, but it’s a great time saver. Colourful holiday paper plates and napkins look great and can be binned quickly and easily after the meal. Voila, no washing up and more time to spend with the family!