The holidays are right around the corner and if you are planning on hosting a party, it’s time to get prepared! Our cooking expert Anna Carl has put together the ultimate planning timeline to help make your holiday meal planning easier and less stressful.

WEEKS AHEAD

  • Finalize menu, and guest list.
  • Make place cards.
  • Select/purchase decor.
  • Develop shopping list.
  • Create, order or purchase party favors.
  • Wash and press linens.
  • Organize, and wash serving dishes, utensils and glassware.
  • Order flowers, pre-ordered catered items or baked goods.

 

A WEEK AHEAD

  • Confirm guests.
  • Shop for non-perishable ingredients.
  • Prepare items that can be frozen.
  • Clean the house and move furniture if needed.

 

A FEW DAYS AHEAD

  • Shop for perishable items.
  • Confirm catering or bakery orders.
  • Purchase beverages.
  • Set-up tables with linens and table decorations.
  • Assemble baked dishes and hold in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare vegetablesĀ  to be recipe ready.
  • Prepare sauces, dressings, marinades.
  • Prepare desserts.
  • Set up beverage station and stock with glasses, cocktail napkins and an ice bucket.
  • Create baking schedule.

 

DAY BEFORE

  • Pick up catered or ordered items – including flowers.
  • Finish prepping perishable items.
  • Chill beverages.
  • Set-up equipment. (Chafing dishes, drink decanters, crock-pots, coffee makers etc.)

 

PARTY TIME!

  • Set out flowers.
  • Turn on music and adjust lighting.
  • Make final food preparations.
  • Coordinate baking times.
  • Fill ice bucket.
  • Set out snacks and appetizers.
  • Enjoy!

Always remember that your guests typically want to spend more time with you. A little pre-planning could help you spend more time at the table, and less in the kitchen.

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