Getting Ready for Seasonal Celebrations: Real-Life Tips From Our Inbox
These holiday tips sent in from our readers will help you stress less during the holiday season. Get advice on staying organized, decorating the simple way and preparing a stress-free holiday feast.
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Prepare and Freeze Your Holiday Meal
I have started cooking for my family of 17 that will be here for Thanksgiving. There is no stress as the sweet potatoes and dressing are already in the freezer. The pecan pies will be next followed by green beans. That only leaves the turkey to cook the day of arrival and the rolls will be made out in the box ready to go in the oven. We now call it our "No Stress Meal," as we no longer try to have everyone's favorite dish. By cooking/freezing ahead of time I am not worn or stressed out.
Rosa Lee Bell, Marvell, Ark.
Holidays are for spending time with the people we care about, so have everyone bring a dish to pass, or consider catering some of your dinner and only making the traditional food everyone wants you to make. This will allow you to spend a lot more time with family and friends and not in the kitchen. Don't forget to bake with disposable aluminum pans and use plastic storage with lids for the leftovers. This will make clean-up easy and stress-free, too.
Ticia Scott, Westland, Mich.
My strategy is to gather the family and have each person choose one holiday recipe to make. I check for ingredients that are needed and get commitments on our project time. Each person is responsible for making their chosen holiday treat. We then fill tins in an assembly line style. The tins are stored in a cool location, and when anyone in the family needs a quick gift or party treat, the tins are available for a stress free holiday moment.
Rebecca van Rooyen, Overland Park, Kan.
I have discovered that many people are so loaded up on fat and sweets during December that friends always enjoy my evening menu of homemade soups (two or three choices). My guests provide the appetizers, a salad or a dessert.
Cynthia Wheaton, Terre Haute, Ind.
For friends or visitors that pop in I always have cheese and crackers on hand, veggies and a quick dip to make. Putting munchies on the table makes most people happy.
Linda Mulkern, Portland, Maine