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Christmas dinner table

Planning Christmas Dinner

Are you hosting Christmas at your home this year?  If so, you’ll want to start planning for this special day.  We’re here to help, with a sample menu, guest tracker, cooking timeline and some easy steps to follow.  So let’s get planning.

Planning Your Christmas Dinner

Step 1:  Set the date, time and location.

For this example, we will invite our guests to arrive at noon on Christmas Day.  Some larger families may choose to hold this event earlier in the day as a breakfast, or later in the day as an evening meal.

Note: We know that some guests will arrive a little earlier, and some will run late. Therefore, we expect the overall arrive time between 11:45 – 12:15.

Our social hour is planned for 12:00 – 1:00.  We will plan to sit down to eat at 1:00.

Step 2:  Plan the menu.

Fill out the Christmas Dinner Menu to determine what you would like to serve.  Ours will be a meals that is simple to prepare, with pork roast, baked potatoes, stuffing, and cinnamon carrots.

Be sure to check out our Sample Christmas Dinner Menu:

Christmas Dinner - Sample Menu

Christmas Dinner – Sample Menu

We’ve also included a blank printable page so that you can fill out one for your dinner:

Christmas Dinner - Blank Menu

Christmas Dinner – Blank Menu

Step 3:  Invite Guests and track RSVPs

Use our printable guest tracker to make sure you’ve included everyone.  Be sure to keep a phone number or email address handy, in case you need to contact them.

Guest Tracker

Guest Tracker

Since this is a large event, be prepared for people to offer to bring a dish.  Lots of hands make for an easy day, so allow your guests to bring a dish.  You can ask guests to bring something from your menu, or just add the item to your planner.  We usually add their dish to our Christmas Dinner Planner, and write their name in parenthesis.

For example:  Cherry Pie (Mom)             Centerpiece (Aunt Jane)

Hint: If you are hosting a dinner, ask your guests bring an appetizer or dessert.  That way, you can save time and energy preparing appetizers and making dessert.  It will be much simpler to concentrate on the main course.

Step 4:  Clean home and set up for Christmas Day

Do as much cleaning as you can ahead of time.  It’s great if you can vacuum, dust, mop the floors, and finish your laundry earlier that week.

You’ll want to reserve the 2-3 days before Christmas to complete your grocery shopping, set the table, and make the desserts.

Step 5: Shop for supplies

Some of the non-perishable or frozen items can be purchased ahead of time.  We usually buy our pork roast 2-3 days before Christmas.

Plan to do your grocery shopping two or three days before Christmas, so that the fruit and vegetables are fresh.

Step 6: Cooking Timeline

Lastly, you will want to set up a tentative cooking schedule.  Since our Christmas dinner is extremely simple, our timeline will be very basic.  However, to ensure everything is hot, it is best to jot down a simple timeline.  Here’s our Sample Cooking Timeline:

Christmas Dinner Sample Cooking Timeline

Christmas Dinner Sample Cooking Timeline

We hope that our menus, guest tracker and cooking timeline help you host a terrific Christmas Dinner. 🙂

You may find the following articles from our website helpful:

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Grocery Shopping List by Department

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How to Make Your Own Place Cards

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