Christmas is Coming! The goose is getting fat!

I don’t really make goose for Christmas, but I do make meat. The expression comes from the email I send my girls and their plus ones in about September and begin to plan for Christmas. I create a document in Google Drive and give them ‘permission’ to look. I frame out a day by day to make sure I have planned well and have plenty of food.

Creating a menu is a great way to relieve some of the stress of holiday cooking. It was evident last week we had all planned well because the cooking for Thanksgiving and the whole weekend, in fact, was fun. Fun. Not stressful.

Christmas will be the same. If this is a new concept, just plan out your holiday food for the big day when you have company. If you are ready for it, plan out the days before and after if you have people staying. As for me, I have a week framed out. Christmas falls on a Tuesday, so I planned Saturday to Saturday. As it turns out, Tammy and Boyfriend will likely be home Saturday through Wednesday morning. Moose and Kenz will arrive late Monday night (Christmas Eve) and stay through Saturday.

I planned out meals for four (Tammy, Mike, Barry, and Me) Saturday – Monday nights. Christmas is planned separately. We will have all six of us here, plus two with Gary and Jannetta. We always plan for at least two more as it usually happens that way! Then Wednesday through Friday night I have meals planned for four again (Moose, Kenz, Barry, and Me).

In the plans, I account for Mike and Tammy being ‘carnivores’ who actually love meats. We will have beef, lamb, and shrimp (my request – Boyfriend makes the most divine saffron shrimp over angel hair) the first few days. Christmas is always a spiral honey ham and lots of yummy sides. I always make sure there are vegetarian options on that day because of Moose, and others who have and may stop by! The meals after the holiday will be lighter on meat and more vegetarian because Courtney (AKA Moose) is not a meat eater. Kenz is, so there will be pork and chicken, but pasta as well. Every meal will have a side like quinoa that will be good as a meal for Moose.

Thus far, Christmas looks like this: (This is copied from my actual Google doc.)



  • bread and spinach dip ~ Jannetta
  • cheeses, crackers
  • cheddar bacon ranch pull bread
  • onion and goat cheese tartlets
  • baked brie


  • spiral ham
  • garlic dill smashy Tammy potatoes
  • roasted root veggies
  • toss salad of Romaine, Napa cabbage, and raddicchio with dried cranberries and goat cheese – fresh dressing
  • quinoa w/craisins and almonds
  • broccoli dish ~ Jannetta
  • fresh artisan bread with herb butter


  • pie ~ Jannetta
  • chocolate chip cookie bars
  • fruit cake cookies
  • gingerbread cookies

This menu has been sitting uncontested for awhile now. 🙂 It is important to know the favorites and the limitations of your family and friends. The appys are almost a meal!

Here is a hint. Plan the dinners and plan breakfast. I will have all of the ingredients for great breakfasts… eggs, bacon, sausage, soy bacon, breads, and Boyfriend’s homemade biscuits! Oh. And great coffee! Mmm… Lunch takes care of itself. With a houseful, coffee and breakfast often lingers to late morning anyway. There is always plenty to nosh for lunch with leftovers and finger foods like cheeses with breads or crackers.

Finally, when you have your menu planned, make your grocery list from the menu. I have already started to buy things ahead as I can and frozen them, or bought items with a long shelf life into 2013. Be careful with freshness dates! I have another document with a shopping list so I add and scratch from that list as needed.

I will talk more about Christmas planning and preparations as we go along. I am CRAZY for Christmas, so look out!

Start your planning. Make sure you have a flavorful but stress-free holiday so you can ~ enjoy!


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