No time to plan that picture-perfect holiday meal? No problem. Win at holiday meal planning in just a few steps.
Thank you to Barefoot Wine and Thermoserv for helping us put together the perfect holiday for this imperfect parent and this sponsored post.
If you’re anything like me, you just started putting up the ghosts and goblins and now you’re hosting the family holiday meal at your house tomorrow. (True story.)
But instead of screaming like a mad woman (although oventing is always allowed), there are a few quick tips you can put to work that still make you look like you’ve been planning for months.
Quick Tips to Win at Holiday Meal Planning
1. Ditch the Standard Decor.
This year throw out the gourds on the table and go with something you already have like candles and other pieces you can find around the house. If you choose a few items that are monotone like silver or gold, paired together always look upscale. For our theme this year, we used a few rustic pieces like burlap and white candles blended with golds and roses to make the table pop and the only thing I bought was some fresh flowers at the grocery store. Done in a way that could make JoJo proud.
2. Play up the Placards.
Mitigate all the wrong people sitting at the table next to each other with table assignments. But you don’t have to spend hours to make cute little individualized pieces, let the kids make it their own craft (delegation is key) or go with class with thank you notes.
Write individual thank you note including why you are thankful for each person coming to dinner and address the envelope with their name. Place on the each seat and tada – table settings. Last minute drop in? You can just quickly write out another one and add it to the their seat. My favorite part is that you’ve added a special note that makes that person feel good and keeps the holidays on the true meaning of friends and family, not spending hours decorating.
3. Streamline the Spirits.
I love having options, especially when it comes to wine, but it does get complicated when you take your menu and your guests into consideration. So instead of trying to pick the right red, white or something else for those that don’t drink wine, go with one signature cocktail and call it done.
I always serve sangria at Thanksgiving and we’ve never had complaints! Plus it looks very festive and can be made in advance so you can concentrate on other dinner making. My new sangria recipe includes fruit and rose. Rose you say? Yep, it’s not just for summer, fall in love with rose and this sangria recipe made with Barefoot Wine Rose that’s not only totally holiday perfect and all year ’round! (And at less than $10 a bottle makes it real easy to keep costs affordable.)
1 bottle Barefoot Rosé still wine
2 ½ ounces dark rum
6 ¼ ounces each of pomegranate, white cranberry and orange juice
3 ¾ ounces maple syrup
Fresh red pear, green pear and orange cut into thin slices
Place prepared fruit into large pitcher. Pour in all liquid ingredients and stir briefly. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve over ice and top with fruit. Done.
4. Cut the China.
This one was a hard one for me because I LOVE beautiful china and glassware pieces. I’ve collected so many pieces over the years, however, I also am anxious the whole meal it’s going to get broken and then when the meal is over, immediately have to handwash them since they aren’t dishwasher safe. It’s just not worth it! But I’m not suggesting to break out the paper plates either. ThermoServ creates a melamine dinnerware called the Chef’s Collection Classic Series that can be incorporate into your table setting without the worry. Made with 100% Melamine, so it’s scratch and impact resistant (kids!). It;s also restaurant quality and BPA free with no fillers. I used my four place settings with plastic chargers and the table looked first-class without all the glass:)
5. Go with Comfort.
Doesn’t it seem assign that you wear some of the nicest clothes you own to eat greasy food and then lounge watching TV? So don’t.
It may have been your tradition, but at our holiday meal yoga pants and Pjs are our required attire. Everyone comes with a chipper disposition and no one gets their best clothes dirty. Besides who wants to watch the Cowboys in their heels and hose. We already bought ours holiday pjs at Target, so we’ll stay in them all day. Besides, they’re soft and make for comfy wear all day!
Now cheers and enjoy!