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Key Takeaways from ‘Take the Stress Out of Your Holiday Meal Planning’

Budgeting your time and resources to create invitations, gather decorations, choose your party theme and write out your grocery and guest lists is the key to success.

The holidays are just around the corner. Are you ready for the get-together? While many associate joy and excitement with Christmas, others are dwelling on the stress that comes with preparing and serving the big meal to friends and family. But this time of year should be thrilling for everyone, not trying for the holiday hosts! During our December webinar, "Take the Stress Out of Your Holiday Meal Planning," our own Rhonda Malkmus, co-founder of the Hallelujah Diet, shared some of her preparation tips to help those who normally stress during the holiday season step back and enjoy the countdown until Christmas instead. 

As Rhonda's general piece of advice, she suggested giving yourself plenty of time for preparation. Budgeting your time and resources to create invitations, gather decorations, choose your party theme, and write out your grocery and guest lists is the key to success. Now, you can count down to your holiday celebration with no worries of procrastination thanks to Rhonda's daily to-do list!

Remember, our broadcast was Dec. 5, 2017, so keep Rhonda's suggestions in mind based on your current timeline. You can play catch up with the days you missed, and you can always refer back to these recommendations next December!

20 Days Until Christmas
On this day, make sure you have your budget, theme and guest list ready.

Create your holiday checklist!Create your holiday checklist!

19 Days Until Rudolph Guides the Sleigh
 Prepare or create your holiday invitations, and then send them the old-fashioned way – via snail mail – or through Facebook or email.

18 Days Until Santa Clause Comes to Town
Now's a good time to plan your holiday menu! Keep things simple, but don't be afraid to splurge a little; after all, it's the holidays. Once you've decided what you'll serve, determine which items you can purchase and prepare ahead of time.

17 Days Until Jingle Bells Ring
Start making a large list of all of the ingredients you'll need for your meal. Rhonda recommended organizing your grocery list by recipes for clarity while browsing the store.

16 Days Until Santa Checks His List
Take your list to the grocery store, and buy all of the ingredients for the dishes you can make in advance. If you're serving nuts, seeds and dehydrated fruits, now's the perfect time to get this purchase out of the way. You can also buy seasonings, bottled water and juices at this time.

15 Days Until Silent Night
On this day, you can clean out your freezer, prepare the dishes that can be made in advance and securely store them.

14 Days Until We Deck the Halls
Today, think about your holiday presentation. The table setting and centerpiece will make a huge impression on your friends and family members! At this time, you can also decide which music you'll play and small gifts you'll hand out to guests.

13 Days Until We Dream of a White Christmas
Make your place and menu cards to arrange on the table next to each setting.

12, 11 and 10 Days Until Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
During this period, you can browse through your favorite plant-based recipes and decide which delicious tasty treat you'll serve. Rhonda's Candied Nuts from her cookbook "Hallelujah Holiday Recipes from God's Garden" makes a great selection.

Use raw pecans to create one of Rhonda's favorite Christmas desserts.Use raw pecans to create one of Rhonda's favorite Christmas desserts.

9 Days Until Frosty the Snowman Returns
If you choose a dessert that uses a traditional pie crust, make and freeze it on this day.

8 Days Until We're Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
To ensure the dishes  you're serving come out perfectly, use this day to make test batches of all of the unfamiliar recipes you plan to make.

7 Days Until We Hear Those Sleigh Bells
Take a look at your recipes and make a final checklist of the ingredients needed. Now, you can make and freeze soup stock, gather your serving plates and flatware, and plan a cleaning schedule to get your home in top shape before the party.

6 Days Until You Follow Me in Merry Measure
Chop all of the nuts needed for your recipes and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Also, make sure you have toiletries ready to accommodate guests.

5 Days Until I'll Be Home For Christmas
On this day, you can put a loaf of your favorite bread in your bread maker to prepare for the holiday stuffing. Also, consider inviting someone who normally doesn't come to the holiday get-together, such as an elderly neighbor or a friend from your church. 

4 and 3 Days Until a Holly Jolly Christmas
Now's the best time to review all of your preparation plans to make sure you didn't forget anything or anyone.

2 Days Until Oh Holy Night
The day before Christmas Eve, go shopping for all of your fresh produce, prepare all dishes that will keep overnight and start cleaning the house! 

1 Day Until The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Now's the final stretch! Prepare any last-minute items, set the table and pray for guests before their arrival.

Christmas Day!
The day of the party is crunch time. Prepare all of your dishes that have yet to be made, freshen up, get ready for your guests to arrive and then sit back and bask in the glory of creating a wonderful memory for the ones you love.

We hope these tips take the stress out of your holiday planning and encourage you to cherish every moment this holiday season! Merry Christmas from the team at Hallelujah Diet!


  1. Angela Solomon December 12, 2017

    Thank you so much Rhonda for these suggestions! This will be able to help with preparing for the “big day”.

  2. Holiday planning can definitely be stressful. Thank you for the tips to help make the party planning go much smoother.

  3. Connie Gesser December 14, 2017

    These are great tips to plan everything out well in advance. Rhonda is certainly skilled in this area.

    It takes a tremendous amount of work to prepare all the dishes from scratch and homemade. She has thought through everything it takes to host a magnificent holiday meal.

    The 20 different steps are creative and helpful. It is great to have it all written down so you can check it off.

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