How to plan ‘Christmas Dinner 2010’

Make Christmas dinner 2010 the best it can be

We all want to impress our guests with a fantastic Christmas menu and this year can be one of the best, if the planning is complete and detailed.

The best way to ensure grand results from your Christmas Eve or Christmas day meal plan is to make lists; and like good ol’ Santa these lists must be checked and checked-twice. Making detailed lists will ensure that every tenet is observed and each crumb will be placed exactly where it should be on this special day.

Any special occasion is surrounded by details, these do make or break the event, so lists do indeed start and finish any repast. Therefore design your Christmas Menu 2010 with enthusiasm and delicious sophistication.


Step 1

Guest list, seating list

It’s best to determine how many guests your home will accomadate; how many people can sit comfortably around your dining table?

With pen and paper in hand write out each family by name and their children; add their phone numbers now.

Decide now on how you are going to invite your guests:

Do you want to mail invitations, or email, make informal phone calls, or send out cute brochures with the menu included and an RSVP card?

Also decide now if you want to include people with children. Where will the children sit, and don’t forget teenagers, they may not like sitting at the «kids table».

Set up a seating list, mix it up to make conversations going but do keep couples together.

Step 2

Sample Menu

Decide how much money you can afford to spend on this menu.

Start planning the menu by sifting through your up-to-date cookbooks, fiind the most current trends and see if these fit into your plan.

Search current food websites that offer holiday menu planning, be adventurous, keeping in mind your own cooking expertise.

Sample menu:

Orange — Glazed Roast Turkey

Boursin Mashed Potatoes

Oyster Stuffing Muffins

Cranberry-Pear Relish (In bowls, as a garnish.)

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Orange-Cranberry & Avocado Salad

Walnut & Bacon Vegetable Combo

Pecan-Raisin Dinner Rolls w/real butter

Brandy & Pumpkin Pie shots (Non-alcoholic)

Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu

Once a menu has been decided upon begin making a shopping list.

Step 3

Dinnerware, linens

Get out your finest dinnerware, stemware, silverware and serving pieces — check each piece for cracks, nicks, and stability. You want to present your best to your guests, chips and cracks do not do that.

If more dishes are needed, check out the second hand shops for complete sets of antique or vintage dinnerware, nice, real silverware, and even beautiful serving pieces at cut-rate prices. Or you can go to any departmentstore and buy new dishes and such according to what is on the budget.

Do a test run on how to set the table, make a pattern if memory will fail on that day.

Run all the dishes through the dishwasher or wash and dry.

Polish the silver, and don’t forget silver coffee and tea service, if you have one.

Take this opportunity to check on the linens for the meal, unfold the table cloth; check for holes and wear.

Wash and iron the table cloth. If it is in bad shape buy another one if possible or borrow one from a friend or family member.

Do the same with your cloth napkins, if they are stained, or have holes buy new. Cloth napkins are inexpensive and add so much to any special occasion.

Step 4

Clean up

Clean up is never fun on these special occasions but it does need to be done. Here is a quick way to get it all accomplished.

Ask for volenteers to help you with the task — get everyone involved who is willing to help.

  1. Remove all food from the table, have someone in the kitchen assigned to put all left-overs away.
  2. Remove all dirty dishes from the table. Have several plastic bins available for helpers to use and make it quick and painless. Those same people can scrape and stack the dishes in a sink to be washed later.
  3. Remove all linens and stow in the laundry room, do this yourself.

Mission accomplished.

If the budget allows hire help for this clean-up.

Things Needed
• Guest list/Seating list
• Menu
• Shopping list
• Dinnerware
• Tableware
• Linens
• Clean-up list

Tips & Warnings
• Keep it simple — Don’t plan too big, this should be a day for you to enjoy as well as your guests; too many people = too much stress on the hostess.
• When making a guest list keep in mind infants who may need high-chairs. (Invite these people, or not?)
• Make foods with which you are comfortable; don’t try to make something too gastronomically advanced for your know-how; this is not the time to learn a new trendy French cooking technique.


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