Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I did Right Last Christmas (part 1)



Last Thanksgiving good friends bravely invited all three generations of our family to the north woods. Our hostess was incredibly organized. Over a month before we came she sent me a copy of her menu for every meal during the time we would be there so I could choose some things to bring to fit her plan. I was amazed at that amount of organization.

I was also motivated.

When we came home I started scouring my cookbooks for meals I could freeze to make ahead for Christmas. My slow cooker cookbook was great for this. So I made huge quantities of food, most of which I fed to my freezer.

Then about 5 days before Christmas I sat down and took stock of what I had in the freezer and came up with a 12 day menu from then through New Year’s that would cover from that day until the last guest left. (Do you also find it ironic that the very last meal, after all that planning, was “frozen pizza”.)

It took me two hours to organize every meal. (They didn’t all come from the freezer, but there was enough of that and easy meals to make time for me to enjoy my then 7 month old granddaughter.) This included meals of an unknown quantity of people (anywhere from four to nine on a regular basis) plus 15 on Christmas at our house.

Having so much food on hand and a complete menu enabled me to go grocery shopping and get everything I would need for a week and also make up a list for shopping the next week of things I didn’t want sitting around too long before we ate them.

I’m sure Karen would have planned her menu and then cooked for her freezer. But we can’t all be super organized. This was an amazing step ahead for me.

I'm hoping to repeat this feat this Christmas with even more people around--my parents will be here, we'll include our future daughter-in-law in many meals, I hope her family can come at least once, and a new grandchild (you knew I'd have to mention him!) 



I also hope that my success will inspire you to do all you can so you can truly enjoy mealtimes with your family this Christmas, and everyday.

In two weeks I'll post the menu and my comments on how it went. I'd love to hear from you. Tell me what you are doing to get ready for Christmas!


For part 2 click here.

*  *  *  *  *  

For a conversation starting question every weekday, *like* the Around the Table Book Facebook Page!
And follow me on Twitter

Linking with these blogs.

24 comments:

  1. Your new grand baby is so precious and it sounds like you have a fun holiday season planned. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! And of course, I agree with you on little Kenneth!

      Delete
  2. that is incredible organization! :) And oh the baby is so cute! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend was far more organized than I, but she says she lives 1/2 hour from the store, so has to be. When we have a full house I tend to underbuy and have to send someone out ever other day! Thanks for admiring my grandson!

      Delete
  3. Yes, that grandson is very, very cute! I really need to learn from your example and be more organized and cook ahead more, especially now that I have a freezer in the garage for storing. Thanks for the motivation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I were more organized all the time--I'm trying! (My extra freezer in is in the garage, too.) Thanks for stopping by and admiring my grandson!

      Delete
  4. What a GREAT idea! We have such a hard time trying to figure out what to do for meals sometimes and get stuck in the same routine.
    LOVE this idea! Can't wait to see the menu.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection this Sunday. Please come back Friday to see if you were featured.

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our married son and his family come almost one weekend a month so I try hard to not repeat meals (too often). It's good motivation to keep me out of a rut. Looking forward to see who's featured and to having you come back to check the menu!

      Delete
    2. I will definitely be back to check the menu ~ You are tied with two other posts for most clicked of the week!!
      Invite some friends to head over to Raising Imperfection and click on your post!! (You're #9 in the link up)
      They can also join if they want ~ there's still a few hours left and a really awesome surprise for all our linkers on Friday! :)

      http://raising-reagan.com/2012/12/02/raising-imperfection-sunday-link-up-week-6/

      Lanaya
      www.raising-reagan.com

      Delete
  5. What a fantastic idea, especially for around the craziness of the holidays. Your grandson is adorable!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection!
    Leslie
    www.violetimperfection.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to find you and link up. This really worked for me this last year so I'm looking forward to trying again this year. We think Kenneth is adorable, too.

      Delete
    2. Psssst.....you are featured today!
      http://www.violetimperfection.com/

      Delete
    3. Thank you! I have fun writing and hope it's a help to people.

      Delete
  6. Wow I wish I had the know how to organize like that, such a good idea! New Follower. Thanks for joining in the Raising Imperfection Blog Hop!

    www.southernramblings.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't take a lot of know how, Jessica, just the discipline to sit down and do it. Ideally, I would make out specific menus every week, but it usually only happens when we have guests. Thanks for hosting the blog hop.

      Delete
  7. That is an awesome way to be ahead of the game, thanks for sharing it! We have decorated, but that's about it so far. :) Visiting today from the Raising Imperfection Hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by! We had our decorating "party" (3 kids, two with significant others) yesterday. I haven't done baking or shopping yet, but one thing at a time. Besides, we're trying to simplify!

      Delete
  8. I love scouring cookbooks for Christmas recipes! Can't wait to start shopping for then cooking/baking some special holiday food!

    Thank you so much for stopping by via the Raising Imperfection hop!
    ~Elisabeth@The Beekeeper's Granddaughter
    www.elisabethferre.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting the hop, Elisabeth! And thanks for coming by. Hope you'll visit often. I just baked my first cookies yesterday--sugar free ones for me. That helps me avoid the sugar ones which are so tempting, but not good for my low blood sugar!

      Delete
  9. Oh my goodness. That sure sounds like "super organized" to me, even without having cooked the food in advance!

    Your new grandbaby is absolutely precious. And I love the family photo at the top of the post.

    At this point, my Christmas prep is primarily making gifts and preparing for our annual cookie swap this weekend. We've been doing it for about 25 years now. This year there will be about 12 participants...and lots of cookies!

    It's wonderful to see you linking to the GRAND Social. Thank you for joining us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Lisa, and raving on my grandson! I'm working on this year, I want to be as organized as last, and with more people around and a wedding in January, I'll need it!

      Wow! 25 years doing a cookie swap! I've never lived anywhere that long!

      Thanks for hosting the social!

      Delete
  10. there's nothing better than being organized during the Holiday to keep things peaceful and fun for all. You seem to be on top of it! Congrats, and thanks for linking with me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by to see my link, Connie! And I appreciate the link party. I'm hoping to repeat last year's feat this year!

      Delete
  11. I am so very moved by this idea. Thank you for posting it. I pinned it to my Christmas board and I can't wait to get my daughter involved in helping plan it.

    http://homeschoolarizona.blogspot.com/2013/07/teaching-manners-with-project-learning.html

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...