Hosting Christmas dinner can be an overwhelming task, so it is nice to find help anywhere you can. When you are expecting a lot of guests during the holidays, it is easy to worry about everything from the menu to the decorations. So, when you are planning your festivities, keep these everyday household items in mind. They could help out big time during the holiday and reduce some of the stress. Every item on this list can help with cooking, decorating, or entertaining.
1. Candles and String Lights
If you are hosting a big holiday dinner full of friends and family, you want to keep lighting in mind. There is a strong relationship between lighting and mood, and to create a nice atmosphere you want to keep it low with candles and lamps. Pull out some tea lights or votives and place them around your home or hang some string lights in the rooms where everyone will gather.
2. Mason Jars
You can use large or small mason jars to hold your candles and help create the perfect lighting. They are an easy, inexpensive way to add some decor, and they look good plain or decorated. In addition to being candle holders, you can also use them for table decorations by filling them with popcorn kernels and adding a ribbon.
Mason jars also make great holiday glassware, and they are easy to clean.
But don’t forget the lids! With some store-bought pie crust and Mason jar lids, you can make miniature pies in just a few minutes for a fun take on a traditional dessert.
If you over-salt your soup or stew, drop a few apple wedges into the pot, and they will absorb the extra salt. After you drop in the apple wedges, cook the soup or stew for another ten minutes and then remove them.
4. Cereal Bowl
If you want to enjoy music at your Christmas gathering, and you need to use a playlist on your phone, a cereal bowl can help. Simply place your phone into the cereal bowl, and it will become a DIY speaker. Different sizes and materials can affect the sound, so try different bowls or cups to see which one works the best.
5. Dental Floss
Delicate and sticky cakes can stick to the knife when you try to cut them. To avoid this, use dental floss to cut through the cake. Simply hold some floss taut over your cake and slice the pieces you want. This cutting method gives you one less utensil to clean, and it will give you a clean cut every time.
6. Ice Cube Tray
If you have a bottle of half-drunk red or white wine, pour the wine into an ice cube tray and make wine cubes. You can use the cubes later in recipes for stews, pasta sauce, or casseroles. You can also use an ice cube tray to freeze extra coffee and make the ultimate iced coffee later.
Before you stuff your stuffing into the turkey cavity, pack it in cheesecloth. This will keep your dressing from sticking to the sides of the turkey and will make it easier to serve. When you pull the cheesecloth, the stuffing will come sliding out with it.
8. Soda Tabs
If you are having a lot of people over for the holiday, and you have limited space for winter coats, soda tabs can help. Attach a hanger to a soda tab via one of the holes, and then add a second hanger to the other hole. This will double your space.
9. Washing Machine
If you are running short on refrigerator space, use your washing machine. Pour some ice into the washing machine to make it the perfect storage spot for cold beer, soda, or any other cold drink you are serving.
10. Ice Cream Scoop or Melon Baller
Serve butter to your guests with an ice cream scoop or melon baller. Either one of these tools will help you scoop individual-sized balls of butter and reduce mess.
11. Coffee Filters
To avoid a grease bomb from the beef and poultry drippings you use as a gravy base, you can use coffee filters to de-grease your gravy. Simply strain your cooking juices through a paper coffee filter to kill the fat while saving the flavor.
12. Non-stick Spray
If you use a non-stick cooking spray on your cheese grater, it will result in smoother grating and make the process much easier. Plus, the spray will make cleanup a lot easier and faster.
An easy way to make the perfect muffin or cookie is to use a baster. Simply fill the baster with batter and use it to pour the perfect amount on the cookie sheet or in the muffin pan.
14. Baking Cups
Instead of cooking your stuffing in a large baking pan, use baking cups and a muffin pan to make individual stuffing portions. This will give each person the perfect combination of crispy edges and creamy center. And, this method will make cleanup much easier.
15. Kraft Paper and Crayons
Kraft paper is the perfect Christmas tablecloth when you are hosting the holidays. Put out some crayons so your guests can color on it or write something they are thankful for. And, the best part is, when it is time for cleanup, all you have to do is remove the paper and throw it in the trash.
All of these household items can help you out during your holiday festivities. Planning and executing a big holiday get-together is hard enough, and these ideas should make things a little bit easier.