So as if I couldn’t add anymore to my plate, I’m hosting a small Christmas eve dinner at my house tomorrow night. I honestly could not afford to stress over it, so I’m putting together what I call “Easy Christmas.” While I would’ve loved to set this up ahead of time and show you pictures from my home, I didn’t think of this until yesterday (how’s that for last minute?), so I’ll link you to examples of what I’m talking about. Here’s my method for throwing together a last-minute easy Christmas dinner and still have everything look great (warning: it involves buying food. So if that’s not in your budget, my apologies! But in my circumstance, I’d rather spend some $$ and not stress over making dinner.)
Buy your food ahead of time. In my situation, this involves ordering a tray of lasagna from a local mom and pop Italian restaurant, but in your situation this might mean prepping dinner ahead of time, freezing it, and baking it the day of. I feel like you can’t go wrong with lasagna. My Italian family used to do the whole fish dinner bit, but since my grandfather passed away those traditions have fallen by the wayside. I’m trying to focus on new traditions for Landon, and until I can figure out what that might be (I have another year, I think?) this is how I’m doing it. I also bought a pie from a friend who is starting her pie baking business, which has been in my freezer since Friday. All I have to do is buy a load of bread, and throw together my favorite salad (spring mix, green apples, craisins, walnuts, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing) and I’m good to go. We are only serving 4 people, including ourselves, so this works for us.
Throw together a tablescape with things you already have. I always have a ton of burlap on hand, so it’s easy to make a quick burlap table runner simply by cutting and fraying a strip of burlap. But if you don’t have burlap, here’s are some easy table ideas that you can make from things at home.
Print out this free printable of vintage sheet music and use it for a placemat. Or, use vintage sheet music if you have that on hand.
Wrap napkins with a piece of twine and stick Christmas tree clippings for some greenery on each. Throw some cinnamon sticks in there if you have them, don’t fret if you don’t.
Or, just wrap your utensils with the same idea. You can pick up shipping tags from any office supply store, and write each person’s name as a place card.
And to add a little more to the table, you can use some tree ball ornaments, pinecones, and leftover tree clippings to make a pretty centerpiece. Put some candles of different heights in the middle, and get creative!
Light candles. I know this may sound corny, but really, it adds so much a table. I’ll also light candles on my fireplace and in the bathroom. It just makes the evening more special than a regular dinner at a relative’s house.
Play some soft Christmas music. This adds some ambience to the entire Christmas dinner. I’m currently loving Pentatonix radio on Pandora, and you can’t go wrong with classic Christmas music.
Light a fire, if you have a fireplace. Yes, it’s a pain to keep it going, but it adds such a warm cozy feeling to the evening. If you don’t feel like dealing with the wood and everything, you can always set up candles like this:
Easy enough, right? I wish you all a very merry, happy, healthy Christmas! I pray you enjoy this time and get to relax a bit! 😉