We are now in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. With Chanukah starting on December 20th, Christmas on December 25th, Kwanzaa on December 26th and New Years Eve on December 31st, there is a lot to plan for.
I have a few suggestions as to how you can save some precious time during the holidays.
1. Give yourself a break! You don't have to prepare all of the food yourself. You can prepare those special recipes you enjoy making but have others contribute. Have your guests bring a dessert or an appetizer. Order a nice tray from your local grocery store or speciality shop to reduce the amount of time you spend preparing for your dinners or parties.
2. Avoid the traffic jams on your stove. Use an electric skillet, slow cooker or food warmer. You can use them to heat premade foods and set them up somewhere else besides the area around your stove. Why not use another portion of your counter top, a table or a server?
3. Create a centerpiece for the table by using what you already have. Use a long runner that reflects the holidays. Use fabric or even wrapping paper and let the food you prepare serve as the decorative part of your table. Use a nice basket of seasonal fruit to create a focal point on your table. Put it on a larger plate and surround it with Christmas ornaments for an even more festive table. Again, if you don't want to take the time, have your local grocery store or specialty shop create the fruit basket for you.
4. Keep a few gifts on hand for unexpected guests. We are bound to either forget about someone or someone shows up with an unexpected guest. Be prepared by keeping a few extra gift items on hand. Wrap them ahead of time and indicate on a post-it note what it is and you will not be caught off guard.
5. As I've written about in previous posts for Thanksgiving, do the same for the upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Give your fridge a thorough clean-out. Get rid of what you don't need, clean the shelves and make room for those leftovers!
6. Make a list of the items you will need to prepare your special recipes. Avoid having to run to the store last minute to purchase that extra stick of butter or some condensed milk. Go through all of your recipes carefully and make sure you have everything you need when you go to prepare that special appetizer, side dish or dessert.
These suggestions will help you to save some time during the holidays. Let me know which one you like the best.
Most importantly, enjoy!