The following guest post is from Jessica of Life as Mom:
Can you just picture it? It’s raining. You’ve finally picked the kids up from the last hockey practice of the week. You’d like to just go home and cuddle up in front of the fire, but no, there’s dinner to rush through before you haul everyone to the dress rehearsal of the Christmas pageant. Oh, and you need to pack cookies for the reception that follows.
The holiday season is rife with great opportunities for fun and festivities. But, daily life must also carry on. How do you reconcile the two and still keep your head on straight?
Here are some strategies I use to make dinner times in November and December more fun for all of us:
Make everyone’s favorites.
The nights when I make a family favorite meal are the most peaceful. Everyone’s too busy eating. I love the golden silence, without the complaining. Serving a meal that makes folks happy is more peaceful.
Prepare simple fare.
Sometimes the most popular meals are those that don’t take lots of prep. Meals like spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and potatoes, and quesadillas don’t require any complicated cooking, but everyone loves them.
Try freezer cooking.
I just came off the heels of a massive bulk cooking session where I cooked up a bunch of meals for the freezer. It was a lot of work, but I know it will be well worth it. I’ve got easy to reheat meals to cover me for the next six weeks or longer.
Serve a DIY supper.
There’s nothing wrong with serve-yourself. While you might have folks too young to cook on the stove, pretty much everyone can serve himself from a sandwich and salad bar that you set out with lots of fixings.
Sometimes we make mealtimes into a bigger production than they need to be. Don’t get me wrong! I, for one, love to eat. But, sometimes simplifying suppers is a great way to make the rest of life seem more doable.
Looking for more ways to celebrate A Simpler Season?
A Simpler Season is a ginormous compendium of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s planning ideas and printable pages. With the busy family in mind, it provides recipes, to-do lists, children’s activity sheets, planning pages, gift ideas, and step-by-step tutorials for creating homemade gifts. There’s even an extensive children’s book list with accompanying activities to do with your kids this holiday season.
Jessica has generously offered to give three Unsophisticook readers a complimentary copy of A Simpler Season!
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1. Leave a comment. How do you plan to simplify meals during the holiday season?
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Jessica Fisher is a busy mom to six children, making her home in San Diego. She writes about life, laughter and the pursuit of a clean house at Life as Mom and shares delicious ways to act your wage at Good Cheap Eats. She is the author of several books, including A Simpler Season and Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.