Food supply shortages, long lines, packed parking lots…and that’s all before you make it home to begin cooking your holiday meal.
With this 2021 holiday season off to a frantic start, I’m here to share three ways to help simplify your holiday meals:
1. Order, order, order!
Shopping online allows you to better plan and carefully select the items you will need without the distraction of the store. I personally tend to shop smarter when I order online, as it gives me a chance to meal prep while I make my order. This will certainly come in handy as you prepare for holiday meals. Plan out your menu and shop online for convenient store pickup or home delivery.
The sooner you order, the better. Waiting until the last minute may mean having to adjust your menu or go without certain items, as this holiday food shopping season is particularly strained. Expect delays in finding pick-up and delivery slots as many people will also be looking to simplify their holiday meals by ordering online.
2. ‘Tis the season…for sharing!
Whether you’re gathering in person or virtually this year, plan ahead so you can share the cooking and the completed meal with local friends and family. Create a menu together and divide up the cooking duties (always a smart way to make an easy dinner for a group!).
Make a shared document for your menu online to keep track of who will be preparing what dishes so that nothing gets skipped or prepared twice. If you’re planning to enjoy a meal virtually, be sure to create a delivery/pickup schedule so that each guest has their portion before the big feast.
3. Support local small businesses this holiday season.
Many local, small catering businesses and meal prep services look forward to a holiday rush. Be sure to give local cooks and artisan cooks a chance to shine. Many small business owners have waited all year to help serve you and your family, so allow them the opportunity. Be sure to carefully review each small businesses’ policies. Order turnaround times and deadlines will vary with each business you consider. Help set small businesses up for success by following all ordering instructions carefully.
Tipping is always appreciated, and small businesses thrive on good reviews, so be sure to leave a stellar review if you enjoyed your meal and service. Alternatively, try working through things with the business before leaving any negative reviews. Negative reviews can really put a damper on a small business and most issues should be easily resolved by simply communicating and allowing the business to correct things.
Remember, the holidays are a time for enjoying time with friends and family while giving back and making memories. Whether you have a big meal planned to share with lots of friends and family or a simple meal just for you and the kiddos; simplify things as best you can so that you can get to the heart of the holidays which is love, kindness, and the beauty of the season.