Countdown to Christmas Dinner: Get Your Checklist

It’s only a few days until Christmas! Are you ready for your next big feast?

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that we could save ourselves a lot of work the day of by doing more prep leading up to the event.

Frankly, I think we should all spend more time putting our feet up on Christmas Day and less time slaving in the kitchen.

To start, if you haven’t already, you should call around to confirm who’s coming. You want to make sure you have that basic detail nailed down.

You should have all of your groceries (except the fresh stuff) in the house, and your special holiday linens should be freshly laundered and pressed.

Get all of your serving dishes and utensils washed and ready. You don’t want to discover on Christmas morning that you need a new soup tureen or that your use-once-a-year Christmas plates have a one-inch layer of dust on them!

This past weekend, I triple-checked my grocery list and made sure I wasn’t missing anything. I also completely deep cleaned and scoured my fridge, so it’s ready for my fresh groceries and all those delicious leftovers.


So, what’s left to be done before Christmas?

Three days before the dinner, you should take out your serving dishes and label them with an index card or a piece of paper stating which meal item will go inside. In the bowl for potatoes, for instance, write a card that reads “mashed potatoes.”

Stack and place these dishes on the dining room table or a surface that won’t be used until your dinner. You can drape them with something to prevent them from getting dusty.

Two days before the meal, get all your fresh groceries and prep your dessert. I also like to do my cranberry sauce at this point. One less thing to worry about!

The day before your dinner, prep the veggies. Get them washed and ready, peeled and sliced for the pan, then place them in the fridge. That way, on the day of, you simply need to grab and go!

Now, finally, set the Christmas table, take a deep breath and enjoy having that much less to worry about on the day of!

I also have a schedule here that will make things go nice and smoothly for you on the day of!

Most important tip of the day: CLEAN UP AS YOU GO. Clean as you go. Clean as you go. Clean as you go. This step is going to save you a big headache later that night when you should be sipping a nice glass of wine or taking a bubble bath.

Morning of the feast

Start preparing dinner. Yes now! Get your veggies ready if you didn’t already take this step earlier this week. If you have a meat that takes a long time to roast, get it in the oven. Put your butter, salt, and pepper on the dinner table, and make sure you have enough place settings.

Two and a half hours before mealtime

Take care of those little things that need to be done for dinner. Make your whipped cream, set up the coffeemaker, get your gravy set up, start your salad prep, etcetera.

One hour before go time

Check the meat. Remember, it should sit for 15 to 30 minutes after you get it out of the oven! Get all your veggies and side dishes cooked. If you have a slow cooker (or multiple slow cookers), use them to keep your sides warm! Make your gravy, heat your rolls and carve your meat, placing it on the serving dish.

When it’s time to eat, put everything on the table, join hands with those you love, and give thanks.

Merry Christmas!

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