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How to Plan a Christmas Menu Without Stressing Yourself Out

For many people, Christmas is the biggest thing since sliced bread. Maybe even before sliced bread. This holiday is celebrated in many parts of the world, and even those who may not put much stock on the religious significance of the holiday take advantage of the time off from work and enjoy the time with family and friends.

Of course, there is a trade off to the festivities – the potential stress. If you are preparing a Christmas meal – lunch or dinner – for guests, then you might be in for a tough job. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean stressing yourself out. If you think about it, your Christmas menu is important, but not as critical as everyone having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

Christmas Dinner Table

Christmas Dinner

Here are some tips that can help you plan your Christmas menu without putting too much burden on yourself.

Don’t leave things for the last minute.

I know that it is oh so tempting to put things off. For sure, you are also busy completing your Christmas shopping list. You may think that you can plan the menu on the 23rd, or even the 24th, of the month. I suggest, though, that you start planning your Christmas menu NOW – if you haven’t already.

This tip is particularly helpful if you are going to host a huge group. With your Christmas menu ready, you can do your shopping in stages. By the time the day actually arrives, you do not have to rush to the supermarket or grocery store to do a rush ingredient shopping spree!

Keep it simple.

Christmas food

Christmas Turkey

If your schedule is really hectic, then you might want to stick to the basics. Take note: basic does not mean bad or unsatisfactory. It simply means that it is okay to not try out new and complicated recipes that you have never tried before. Stick to what you know works best. Alternatively, put a new twist on dishes that might be getting old with your family. Just make sure that you are in your comfort zone, so that you do not stress yourself out.

For example, if you know how to cook turkey in your sleep, then there is no reason not to make it. If, however, you want to shake up your usual recipe a bit, you can try some “safe” alternatives such as this Scrumptious Stuffed Christmas Turkey and this
Perfect Christmas Turkey.

You can always go with ham, as well, which is traditionally a part of Christmas menus in many places. Here are some easy ham recipes which you can consider for your Christmas menu.

Make sure you know if your guests have dietary restrictions.

Yes, it does add more work on your part, but it is worth knowing these restrictions beforehand so that you can prepare. It will definitely be worse if you don’t ask and then have to face an emergency during dinner.

If you have vegetarian guests, you can prepare two or so dishes specially made for them. Other considerations would be allergies to nuts, gluten, and lactose.

Double check your recipes for the number of servings.

Serving Size

Check Serving Size!

It is easy enough to find recipes to include in your Christmas menu. You do have to remember, however, that not all recipes are designed to feed a fixed number of people. It is an easy enough fact to overlook, but always check this so that you can adjust (halve, double, triple, and so on) the number of servings and purchase the correct amount of ingredients.

Make a shopping list.

Yes, lists do work. Once you have your Christmas menu set, once you have checked the number of servings, and once you have made the necessary adjustments, there is no time to waste in getting the ingredients. As I said earlier, you can do your shopping in stages. Those items that are non-perishable can be bought at an earlier date. The same thing applies to items that can be frozen or stored till Christmas day. The trick is in managing your time and getting what you can when you can. Of course you also have to remember to strike things off that list as well!

Sample Christmas Menu

Here is a sample Christmas menu, which draws on recipes that have been featured in our previous posts about Christmas and then some.

Photos via cocoleroc, Lifestyle Food,


  1. Aleksandr says:

    Usefull i think. But have a lack of time to make menu online and in notebook.

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