I cannot believe that Christmas is next week! I feel like, for the longest time, it was “oh still a few weeks away!” and now I’m very much playing catch up to get ready. One thing I usually do sooner, but just did over the weekend, is put together our holiday dinner ideas. This year is a unique year for us in that we’ll have spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas as just the four of us.
We don’t usually have a huge group anyway, but when we tried to come up with holiday dinners ideas for a small group, it wasn’t as easy as I expected. I learned a few things from Thanksgiving and wanted to share a few of my tips and tricks from that, which I’ll also be using for Christmas to make holiday dinner for us (and hopefully YOU!) a little easier if you just have a small gathering.
Holiday Dinner Ideas
Tip 1: Plan Ahead & Be Realistic
Actually write out a menu and your grocery list so that you know what you have and what you need. Also, we all have a lot of family traditions but if you just have a small group, it may not make sense to do ALL of them. For example, my mom always makes a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. This year, since it was just us, it was one of the things I had to skip. The boys don’t eat it and we would have ended up with so many leftovers that Clint and I wouldn’t have been able to eat them all, leading to more wasted food. Keep in mind, you can make holiday dishes at any time of the year, so don’t pressure yourself to do it ALL!
Tip 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Call in Help
And for us, help comes in the form of ordering in part of dinner! For Thanksgiving we ordered desserts from Milk Bar (which were amazing) and for Christmas Day dinner, we’re ordering a Honey Baked Ham and a couple of sides. I’ll still have things that I make and really enjoy making but it certainly does help to have something done for you. Not only does it make the holiday a little more enjoyable but it makes clean up a breeze!
Tip 3: Try Something New
Although we do it all the time, they say it’s not the best idea to test new recipes on guests when you’re entertaining. Why not use a small holiday celebration at home to do exactly that? We’ve done this over the last couple of years and had some big wins, including:
- Chocoflan from the Homesick Texan
- This side dish from Jessica at My Style Vita
- Green Bean Casserole by Katie Lee
Tip 4: Make it Nice
I said this one to myself in the voice of Dorinda from the Real Housewives of New York City, but I do think it’s important to make the holidays an “event” even if it’s just a small, more informal group. Still plan on getting dressed nicely for dinner, set your table with holiday flowers and light candles! It is a time worth celebrating and you’ll maybe even start to feel like the next Martha Stewart if you add a few little details. I always enlist Jackson to make place cards for everyone, have my aunt (who is a florist) create new table arrangements for us and we ALWAYS get dressed at least a little nicer for dinner.
What are some of your holiday dinner ideas? Tell me in comments!