Preparing the Feast: A 15-Day Holiday Planner
If the thought of producing the Christmas meal for 20—with little kids and Christmas parties and nap schedules to deal with—has your head spinning, you'll love our 15 Day Plan for the Perfect Christmas Dinner. It's a step-by-step guide on what to delegate, what to make ahead, and even comes complete with a printable checklist for D-Day.
15 Days to Go
Begin planning your holiday dinner menu—consider number of guests and any dietary restrictions.
Delegate: mashed potatoes, a side dish and a dessert item should all be handled by a guest.
14 Days to Go
Order your turkey or ham now.
Click on your city to find out where the best place is to pick up your bird:
13 Days to Go
Take stock of serving items. Do you have enough place settings for everyone? Consider renting items if you don't have enough of everything.
Get the kids excited with crafting projects that will keep them busy while you're prepping for your big dinner. Keep a small box of supplies close by, and use their creations in your decorations.
12 Days to Go
Compile three master lists:
1. Food shopping (recipes/ingredients split by fresh and non-perishable)
2. Serving items needed (these could be items you buy or borrow)
3. Decor supplies you want (candles, table linens, etc.)
11 Days to Go
Plan a thirst-quenching cocktail to serve to family and friends, and a festive drink to offer the kids. Don't forget about the non-alcoholic variation for designated drivers and expectant mothers.
Stock up on bar supplies and other alcohols with this handy guide.
10 Days to Go
Clean and organize the fridge and freezer—consolidate items and toss expired goods.
Pick up all items on list 2 and list 3 (see December 13).
9 Days to Go
Recharge the batteries in your camera so you don't miss a minute of your meal's best moments
Pick up items on list 1 (see December 13) of the non-perishable type.
8 Days to Go
If you're baking homemade pies this year, make the pie crust, roll it out, press into pie plates and freeze until needed.
If you're making cookies or any other treats, go crazy and have fun with the kids.
7 Days to Go
Enlist older kids to help plan fun activities for the younger kids on the big day.
6 Days to Go
Make cranberry sauce and store in a lidded container in the fridge. Leaving it for a few days allows the flavours to develop and results in a tastier condiment.
5 Days to Go
Start defrosting the frozen turkey in the fridge. It requires 5 hours per pound of meat.
4 Days to Go
Prepare the table linens (iron if necessary).
Plan/create decorative centrepieces for the table.
3 Days to Go
Pick up all fresh produce ingredients on list 1 (see December 13—veggies, herbs, etc.)
Pick up fresh flowers.
Make dressings for salads or side dishes and keep in the fridge.
2 Days to Go
If you're making homemade stuffing, slice and cube the bread now. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet (uncovered) to dry.
Pick up fresh turkey from the butcher.
1 Day to Go
Do as much prep work as possible; chop and prepare the veggies while the kids are napping.
Prepare any vegetables or side dishes that require baking, like casseroles. Bake them today and reheat just before serving tomorrow, or assemble them today so they're ready to be cooked tomorrow.
Set the table. Don't forget salt and pepper shakers.
The Big Day
It's the big day! You can breathe easy knowing you're as organized and prepared as possible. Keep yourself on track with our handy printable checklist. Happy Holidays!