FRESNO, California -- The holidays can be stressful, so here are some tips to conquer what should feel like the most wonderful time of the year.
The key to minimizing holiday-induced anxiety is to plan in advance. Start putting together a guest list and menu now to determine to make sure you have the essentials you will need to serve your holiday meal - both basics and serving pieces.
3 Weeks Out - Menu finalized and shopping list complete.
2 Weeks Out - Clean your refridgerator and purchase non perishables items.
1 Week Out - If you are purchasing a frozen turkey, now is the time.
Mix and Match Dinnerware
It's helpful to get open stock dinnerware in any white or neutral color so you'll have infinite choices to mix and match. Be sure that you have enough of the right drinkware for serving cocktails when guests first arrive and then have a water and wine glass on the table for each guest to use during the meal.
Turkey essentials include a roasting pan), meat thermometer and gravy separator. Keep in mind that every turkey is different so your roaster should be able to handle even a 25-pound holiday bird. Check that your serving plate is large enough to accommodate your turkey and there should also be enough room on the plate to surround it with garnish.
Consider how you'd like to present your meal to your guests. Whether it's a sit-down dinner or buffet style, your food will be the main focus. Using an item like a chafing dish is great for a buffet. It will let you cook, keep your food warm and allow your guests to help themselves all at once.
The Perfect Ending
Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer is great for hosting larger groups as it allows you to brew single cups or a full carafe! Keep a supply of coffee and teas to compliment pies, cookies and other holiday treats. Add a tiered dessert server for a decorative dessert spread - and it helps save space!
For the main event, make sure you have enough chairs for guests (including folding chairs) and consider whether you need an extra table to serve as a "kids" table or dessert station. For overnight guests, be sure you have clean towels and sheets and that you have an extra inflatable mattress on hand in case of a surprise guest.
For a finishing touch, you can set the mood with candles by using a mix of tea lights and candlesticks on the table at varying heights.