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Manage a Holiday Dinner


You Can...Manage a Holiday Dinner

Keep the holidays focused on family, friends, feasting and unforgettable memories. Forget the fatigue and stress! Maintaining your regular routine of exercise and mental well-being will help.

Here are some other tips on how to enjoy the holidays and meal preparations without brain or body damage.

Get your "mise en place" together! (French for "everything in its place")

  • Plan ahead, shop, gather your ingredients and tools together well in advance

Check your workspace and tools

Find a workspace that's comfortable (good lighting mentioned below) and not too high (working with your arms up causes fatigue)

  • Kitchen toolbox
    • sharp knives—let the blade do the work
    • Lucite cutting board—light, inexpensive and easy to clean
    • mini-chopper—light and easy for quick grating and chopping
    • cart on wheels—for moving food and supplies around
    • good lighting
    • kitchen stool(s)—for you and your guests because everyone knows that any good party ends up in the kitchen!
    • lazy Susan’s on counters, table, and in cupboards and refrigerator
    • reachers and lever handles for faucets and doors
    • loop handles for drawers
  • Cheat!
    • Assign dishes to other guests
    • Buy it in a box, can, bag, or even frozen!
    • Cook whatever you can in advance & freeze it
  • K.I.S.S. it! (Keep It Simple, Silly)
    • Enlist helpers beforehand and on the day of the party
    • Cook only for the number of guests you're having—scrap the 20 lb turkey for a turkey breast; easier to cook and clean up
    • Have your guests bring storage containers for leftovers
    • Shhhhhhh! You can even order your dinner from the great deli down the street.

Contributing editors: Beth Bullard, OTR and Baldwin Sanders, RD, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis