I Might Be Crazy…

A few years ago, I did something that many would call me crazy for.  You see, I got frustrated with the idea that my husband and I spend holidays apart because all of our family is local and it got to be too much to spread our time between ALL of the houses (Hubs has a very VERY large family).  I decided that the best way for me to spend time with my husband was to begin hosting Christmas dinner at our house for the whole family… that may not sound crazy – until I mention that last year, there were 47 people at our house for Christmas Dinner…

and I set the tables with my finest crystal and china (along with some additional settings picked up at going out of business sales and garage sales).  I don’t do a buffet, but rather we all take our seats and pass various dishes around the tables.

Since I’ve become a self-proclaimed pro at this, I wanted to share a few tips because whether you are cooking for 5 or 50, this is a time that should be enjoyed.

(1)   Get the whole family involved – The boys are a great big help to me this time of year – They make the place cards so every one knows where to sit, they greet the guests and take coats and purses to the other room, they help make the centerpieces and set the tables, and love to help mommy with the baking and cooking. 

(2)   Extra Space – For a gathering this large, I rent tables and chairs – I have to – but I generally get tables larger than I need – for example if a table seats 8, I’ll plan to put 6 there.  This way, if an unexpected guest arrives (yep, it’s happened), you can easily add an extra place.  If no one unexpected arrives, all of your guests have a bit of extra elbow room.

(3)   Plan Ahead – many of the dishes I make can be made ahead of time so take advantage of that.  You want as little cooking the day of as possible so that you can enjoy your guests.

(4)   Don’t worry about things being perfect – the most important thing is the gathering of the family and/ or friends.  No one cares if your plates don’t match, or if the green beans need more salt. 

(5)   Keep dessert simple – I used to do pies and cakes – that becomes a logistical nightmare with a large crowd however.  Now I have plates of cookies and sweets that can be placed on the tables and easily shared.  Plus, they are individually portioned already! (and can be made WELL in advance)

So, what are your tips and tricks for hosting a gathering?

Whatever your plans this holiday season, I hope you have a Happy, Healthy holiday Season!



  1. This one only works if you live somewhere that it’s cold that time of year, but use the outside for storage. We feed a large crowd too (25-30+) and none of our fridges fit everything. We make things ahead of time, wrap them up, and set them in the back of the pick up truck (with the cover on it!) or in a car. Works as good as the fridge or freezer for a night!

    • That’s a great idea… unfortunately, you never know what Texas weather is gonna do! Some years we’ve got a fire in the fireplace for amiance and the A/C running for comfort!

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