Christmas is a time of year that brings friends and family together who may not have the pleasure of one another's company at any other time throughout the year. While family ties may be a bit difficult to maintain in the world in which we live today, the traditions of Christmas for many families are what keep us grounded and in touch with one another no matter how far apart we are geographically. The problem is that if one person is doing the cooking for all, that person tends to spend endless hours in the kitchen and misses out on the joys of the company of others year after year. One way to avoid this is by rotating locations for the festivities from one year to the next. Another way, a much simpler way, is to delegate items of contribution from all guests in attendance each year so that the cooking and meal preparation duties are shared among the masses.
Of course, this isn't a perfect plan but it is a good plan. Another great plan is to prepare pieces and parts of your Christmas dinner ahead of time. With careful planning, there are items that may be prepared as much as a few weeks ahead of the big day and stored either in air-tight containers at room temperature or frozen for heating or baking on the big day or within a reasonable time frame of Christmas for best results. Any of the prep work that can be taken care of before the big day is one less thing to be taken care of when the time comes and that becomes a load off your mind.
Make lists. Lists are wonderful things. If you learn to live by your lists you will wonder how on earth you ever got anything done without them. When you are planning your Christmas dinner right down everything you plan to have, who is bringing what, what you are making, and what ingredients will be needed to complete each and every single dish. Go through your pantry and see which items you have in abundance and which items you will need to prepare the meals. Head to the store at least a week ahead of the big day and purchase all but the fresh ingredients you will need in order to prepare your Christmas feast.
Another thing you will need to do is make sure you have a list of all the non-food items you will need to the stock ahead of time. Make sure all the bathrooms are stocked, that you have plenty of garbage bags, waste baskets, paper plates, cups, napkins, cutlery, and other items that will be needed in order to make things go smoothly when your guests begin to arrive. These are little things that matter and may get overlooked if you fail to plan ahead.
You should also make a list of decorations, invitations, and gifts or games you may need to purchase for the day too. You want your day to go as smoothly as possible and you want everyone to fill wanted, appreciated, and anticipated. It may be a great idea to pick up a couple of generic gifts for a male or female in case someone unexpected shows up (you really never know) and have extra wrapping paper and supplies on hand in case someone has an emergency rewrap (as in a kid opened a gift intended for someone else). Most importantly plan to be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy as much of the festivities as possible.