Step 3 – Menu Planning
Make it your goal to get everything in place for your Christmas menus. Here are some easy steps to make that happen…
- Designate a page in your Christmas notebook, spiral, notepad…for menu planning.
- Think through the special meals you will have over the Christmas holiday and list each of these on your menu planning page. For example, will you have a special Christmas Eve dinner? Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas lunch and/or dinner? List each special meal you would like to plan.
- Now list menu ideas under each meal taking your plans into consideration. For example, if you attend a Christmas Eve service, you may want that to be a crockpot soup or stew type meal after church. If you travel on Christmas to enjoy sharing a meal with out of town family, think of some easy to travel ideas you can take… Need ideas? I have posted my own Christmas menus here.
- Once your menu is set, it is time to make your cooking plan. Gather the needed recipes for menu items you plan to make and look at the cooking times and temperatures to be sure there are no conflicts. If all your items need to fit in the oven at the same time and at three different temperatures, you will want to make some menu changes or plan to make some things ahead…
- Be sure your menu plan will not cause you to miss out on all the celebrating by keeping you in the kitchen all day.
- Now you’re ready to make your grocery list. Divide your grocery list into a perishable and non-perishable column. I like to purchase non-perishable items early, before the stores get crowded, so I have a super short list of perishable items I need for the days just before Christmas (when the stores are picked over and really busy).
- If there are any items you plan to purchase, like a honey ham, turkey or Happy Birthday Jesus cake, go ahead and place the orders now. Be sure to record the pick up dates/times, address, phone number, and the name of the person that took the order on your menu page beside that menu item. These companies appreciate people who plan ahead and may even offer an early bird discount or coupon.
- Don’t forget your tableware. Will you use Christmas paper plates, napkins and plasticware? Add this to your non-perishable grocery list. Do you have serving dishes for everything? Do you need to borrow some china, glasses or flatware to have enough? Make that phone call.
- As you are thinking about those who will be sitting with you around the table for Christmas, spend some time praying over those friends and relatives. Pray each one will feel a welcomed part of your celebration. Pray they will see the light of Christ shining through you. Ask God to help you be a blessing to each one. Matthew 5:16
Keep working on your gifts, stocking stuffers and cards!
How are you doing with your Weekly Gift/Stocking Countdown? Keep making progress! How are your cards coming? You can apply the weekly countdown formula to your cards to complete a few each week, or set aside a weekend to knock them all out at once. Do you have things together for your family pictures? Keep it simple and have fun taking them together! (: