Having a list of holiday go-to meals at your fingertips would be wonderful for this year. Right? This quick post will give suggestions to create a collection of easy holiday meals. We’ll also chat about ways to simplify the hosting process while sharing ways to gain more confidence in hosting. And lastly, we’re offering an awesome resource you’ll find yourself putting to use immediately!

Chili as a holiday go-to meal

We coined the phrase Happy Hostess here on Quiet Hollow to mean those of us 60+ girls (some 50 or 70+), who might verge on introversion, but love to share time and a meal with the people we care about. Happy Hostesses see hospitality as totally different from entertaining. Hospitality for us starts from a biblical perspective. Our purpose for opening our home, meeting someone for coffee, or having the gang over for lunch is to “bless, not to impress.” Check out this post (How to Be a Stress-Free Happy Hostess) for a fun chat on Happy Hostessing!

Most of us quickly recognize the difference between fixing things up cute, cleaning your home, and even taking out the nice dishes as opposed to spending a ton of time and money to do all the fancy things so the people who come to your house for your event will be impressed and maybe a little jealous. We also recognize that is the exact opposite of what we’re called to do. Plus, it’s not even close to being as fun!

What’s a Holiday Go-To Meal?

Maybe you already have a mental list of your ‘company’s coming’ holiday meals. Our Holiday Go-To Meals is like that with a twist. It’s a list of meals that almost everyone loves. These meals could have a family tradition story attached to them, or they could simply be a meal you are confident will turn out well. It’s also something YOU like to eat. You’ll be more likely to look forward to the event if the food choices also make you happy!

Start thinking about those easy holiday meal ideas. At the top of my list would be my Grandma’s Homemade Chicken and Noodles. It’s a hearty, delicious soup that uses my mom’s homemade noodles. I know it will turn out, it tastes great, and it’s a perfect winter meal. Do you have something like that in your repertoire?

Of course, you could put together a grocery store meal; some occasions are in the emergency, last-minute category and require emergency measures! So, occasionally, grab a freezer lasagna, deluxe pizza, or even drive-through for a big order of Panda Express. However, if it’s not an emergency (and most won’t be), consider a yummy holiday go-to meal for your guests.

Pin to Your Favorite Holiday Board!

Pin for Happy Hostess Go-To Meals post

What is NOT a Holiday Go-To Meal?

If you have saved a fancy recipe that you know will impress your mother-in-law or new neighbors, DON’T USE IT! This is the exact opposite of the Happy Hosting philosophy (remember ‘bless not impress’ ?), and the likelihood of you enjoying yourself, feeling confident, and having a tasty result are very slim. I’ve fallen into this trap, and it never turns out well! If you want to use a new recipe, try it out on yourself or your husband. You will learn a lot with your dry run… Ingredients adjustments, oven temp, and length of cook time are a few I can name. You might also find you don’t even like the recipe.

This even goes for heirloom/family recipes. Word to the wise: if the recipe’s new to you, resist the temptation to serve it to a group. Practice first (unless these people live in your household)! 🥰

How to Create Your Holiday Go-To Meals List

Get your cookbooks, hand-written recipe cards, and scraps of paper in that recipe box, or go to your online collection. I have all of those! Speaking of online collections…I use Plan to Eat. It “helps busy households get healthy dinners on the table. Collect and organize your recipes, add those recipes to your meal planning calendar and Plan to Eat will make your organized grocery list. Collect recipes from anywhere. Recipes can be added to your account from websites, cookbooks, recipe cards… or anywhere else! (description is taken from their website.) If you choose to add PTE, we can be friends and share! I currently have 565 recipes saved there.

One of my favorite recipes in my Holiday Go-To Meals category in PTE is Slow Cooker Fiesta Chili Supper Recipe. You can sign up for the 30 day free trial and check out the 20ish recipes I have in that collection!

Here is your FREE Holiday Go-To Meals Workbook!

Happy Hostess Holiday Go-To Meals Workbook

Whatever you use to store your recipes, even if it’s just your head, search for your holiday ‘go-to’ meals possibilities. And, then write them down with references to the source recorded (so you can find the recipe unless you know it by heart). I have an actual Holiday Meals Collection in Plan to Eat that helps greatly. Also, I have a gift for you that will help with this task. It includes eleven meal suggestions (shared by some of my best FB friends ❤️) and lots of room to list your favorites and good ol’ stand-bys.

I just picked up a great Christmas magazine called Paula Deen’s Chrstmas Festive Dishes for Holiday Meals. It’s awesome…although it’s a little on the fancy side for me. No problem, I’m good at ‘un-fancying’ recipes. Most of the time it’s determined by the ingredients I have on hand! There are ideas in the magazine for “Snips & Snacks”, “12 Days of Christmas Cookies”, “Festive Meals”, “Cakes & Cheesecakes”, and “Homemade Gifts”.

Let’s Wrap This Up

There is so much to think about during the holidays. From gifts to decorating, to hosting, to what to wear for events, to cooking for your guests! If we can find a few ways to enjoy this wonderful time of year while alleviating unnecessary stress, let’s do it! This post has focused on one small yet powerful tool for planning your holiday meals list to crank down the stress meter in your life, home, and heart.

Here are a couple of other ways to find peace rather than panic during this time.

#1 is to sit down, away from everything, rest, calm your mind and pray. God says this too. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10 He loves hanging out in the stillness with us. Playing worship music calms and refocuses my heart. The song Peace, Be Still by Lauren Daigle comes to mind now. (You can find it on youtube).

#2 is to pick up your Bible while you’re peacefully sitting there and go back to what you are currently reading or pop into Psalms or one of the letters in the New Testament. I love Psalm 23. You just can’t beat it! Short, but packed with love and encouragement, and hope.

So, I leave you sitting by the still waters with your soul is refreshed. Enjoy our two big winter holidays this year; the one that reminds us to be grateful and the other that celebrates the birth of the Baby who grew up to be the Savior of the world! ❤️

Romans 12:13 Always eager to practice hospitality.

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  1. I love the idea of creating a book of holiday go-to recipes. I’m a vegetarian, so my recipes will be different, but thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Kathy Rowland says:

      Thanks for the comment! Yep, having a go-to list of whatever types of recipes is really helpful anytime, but especially during the holidays. I’m glad this post gave you a little inspiration. ❤️ ~Kathy

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