I want to jump right into this post but first I have to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of support in regards to my dad. And even more importantly to me, how much my mom, dad, and brother have felt your love and prayers. I want to respond to everyone individually but it’s surprising to me how emotionally draining it can be to respond to a text at times. Right now we are channeling all the energy we can into positive thinking and creating new, wonderful memories together. I feel truly lifted by your love and for that, I am so, so grateful.
Speaking of new, wonderful memories- I get to host Christmas this year! The last time I had this opportunity was 7 years ago, about a week before I found out I was pregnant with Hailey. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2010. I’ve been looking forward to this for months and am going to relish in the quality time together- eating, drinking, laughing, and watching the kids run amok.
The anticipation of hosting has helped us really get into the spirit of things. From making Christmas cards.
To endless train rides for all our Little People princesses.
To sending our elf, Star, to the North Pole with our Christmas requests one last time just to make sure Santa doesn’t forget.
On Hailey’s list: a science kit and waterproof mittens. On Kaitlyn’s- a drawing board and waterproof mittens. I guess both our kids are sick of having frozen hands every time it snows?
While the kids have been playing and crafting, I’ve taken on my own holiday project- planning the menu! In total we will have 7 adults and 4 kids (and one pup). In the crowd we have both veggie-focused eaters and meat lovers, so I did my best to keep things balanced with options for all. I wanted to share it with you in case you were in need of some Christmas menu inspiration, but also to get you to weigh in- does it look like enough? Should I add anything else in? I’d love your feedback since I’m not shopping until later this week!
Ok- the menu!
The recipes outlined above include:
- Quinoa Salad from Cookies and Kate
- Savannah Seafood Gumbo from Paula Deen
- Homemade Sourdough from Peanut Butter Runner
- Crockpot Breakfast Casserole from Iowa Girl Eats
- Buffalo Chicken Dip from All Recipes
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Alton Brown
- Greek Pasta Salad from A Healthy Slice of Life
- Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal from Oh She Glows
- Garlicky Green Beans from A Healthy Slice of Life
- Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme by Closet Cooking
I planned the menu keeping in mind that I could make a few dishes ahead of time and freeze them, so I divided to shopping into two days.
I’ll make the spinach and artichoke dip, breakfast casserole, and sweet potato souffle before everyone arrives on Friday, then make the rest of the food in real time. My family loves being in the kitchen so I know we will have all hands on deck, and that makes the prep less intimidating and much more fun.
I simultaneously am excited and in disbelief that it is the week before Christmas. We have, however, made it through most of our Christmas movie favorites (I wasn’t sure about Home Alone this year, but Hailey ended up loving it). I’m sure we will squeeze in another couple (I love Christmas movies) while we anticipate our family’s arrival!
I’d love to hear about your favorite holiday dishes!
What is your must-have dish each year?
For my bro, it’s bacon-wrapped water chestnuts!
Also- feedback on the menu. Anything I should add? Or consider?