Try A Potluck Christmas Dinner This Year

Christmas Potluck DinnerThis year, if you are hosting Christmas dinner, you might like to try a new approach to the meal by turning your Christmas dinner into a potluck meal.

A potluck Christmas dinner can save you both time and money. Each dinner guest, or each family, is responsible for a part of the dinner, so no one person has to do all of the preparation.

Potluck is an old term dating back a few centuries. It is a meal brought to a gathering to be shared with others. This is exactly what you will be doing with a Christmas potluck dinner. In centuries past, people brought whatever they had to a potluck meal, but here, we want a bit fancier, and a bit more organized, fare for our dinner menu.

First Step: Plan the Menu

First, the guests can come together to decide what type of menu they’d like to have. For example, my grown children want a taco dinner this year. I don’t like the idea, but I think I may be out-numbered. Don’t worry if schedules are too tight for a family meeting. Use email, text messaging, and good old Ma Bell to decide on the Christmas dinner menu.

Setting up a menu in advance avoids everyone bringing a dessert and no side dishes for the Christmas dinner meal. A true potluck would involve everyone bringing something of their choice, but for variety’s sake, make a list first. Your list can be specific (mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, one pumpkin pie) or general (vegetable side dish, dessert, appetizer). As each household chimes in on what they will bring, add it to a list and send it out. You want to avoid duplicates if you can.

The main course of turkey or ham or what have you (taco meat?) can be cooked at the host’s home. It proves easier to have the turkey already on site as opposed to transporting him all over town. Or, a family member can purchase the turkey and come over to cook it at the host’s home for the Christmas dinner. I like to recommend having a separate roaster oven for the turkey or ham, that way you have room to heat up other dishes in the main oven.

Set Up the Serving Area

You’ll need a place to set up the Christmas dinner dishes. Most potluck meals are served buffet style so everyone gets exactly what they want to eat. Depending on the number of Christmas dinner guests, you may need a table or two set up for the various menu items.

A nice touch would be to place cards next to each dish explaining what it is, and who brought it. Most will be self explanatory but the place cards do help for kids and non-traditional meals. Label the desserts as well.

The dining room table can be set as usual for a potluck Christmas dinner. After the blessing, everyone can form a line to get their food.

Easier Clean-up

Ask each dish maker to bring their own utensils for serving so you don’t have to use all of yours. Afterwards, everyone can rinse their own serving dishes and take them home to wash. They can also rinse their own eating utensils and dishes and put them in the dishwasher to help you out even more.

Christmas dinner is a tradition in many countries. Families and friends get together to share a meal, some Christmas cheer, and to have some fun. Why not cut down on your work and stress by trying a potluck Christmas dinner this year?

Here is a site that offers free printable Christmas Potluck Dinner invitations.

Christmas Dinner Menu

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    • Kim Rawks!
    • December 22, 2012

    We did this the last few years my grandmother was with us. She was still insisting she be the one to cook every holiday meal. We finally got her to concentrate on her famous mashed potatoes and let the rest of us bring the other things.

    • Heather
    • December 23, 2012

    We usually do this every Christmas eve. It’s a great time for family to get together and no one is stuck in the Kitchen cooking all day.

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