Christmas is marked as the day Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. For others, Christmas is when family and friends come together to celebrate and share. Christmas is an important party or occasion as it brings together people who have not met in a long time, allowing them to interact and catch up with each other. Christmas also gives you time to relax and take a break from your daily routine if you celebrate alone.
Food is an essential part of the occasion as it is a means by which people gather to share, making it essential to have a Christmas menu. A Christmas menu consists of food to be cooked and shared with family and friends during the Christmas party and season. However, it can also be used by a single person celebrating Christmas alone.
A Christmas menu includes all the dishes a person would like to prepare, from the main dish to salads and appetizers. Christmas menus help plan and have everything hence, avoiding the last-minute rush. It also gives you peace of mind since you know what to prepare and how long it takes. You can create the Christmas menu using a template, and these free documents can be made using MS Word, which is a suitable platform for such purposes.
This article helps you understand more about the importance of a Christmas dinner menu and guide you on how to make a printable template by explaining the menu’s essential components. You will also find examples of dishes you can include in the menu to make your Christmas tastier.
Christmas Menu Templates
Christmas should be celebrated with family and friends. Our free printable pre-made MS Word templates will give you peace of mind when preparing your Christmas dinner menu and ensure you enjoy the meal with your guests.
With various templates at your disposal, you can find unique Christmas menus that give you and your guests a unique Christmas dinner experience. They are also easy to edit and customize in MS Word, allowing you to add details to them.
Why Planning Christmas Dinner Menu is Important
Christmas parties are never complete without excellent dishes. A perfect dish allows you to have a good time with friends and family or alone. You would want your Christmas dinner menu to be perfect for the special occasion that occurs once a year. This can be stressful since you must ensure everything goes according to plan. Planning a Christmas dinner menu gives you peace of mind knowing everything is in control. In addition, it helps you know what you want to prepare, relieving stress.
Planning your Christmas dinner menu using a template ensures everything is prepared and ready in time for the party. This is because you can list all the activities that need to be done in preparation and allocate ample time to doing these activities.
Upon deciding what you want to serve during the Christmas dinner, you will know the ingredients needed to prepare the meal, which will help you prepare your shopping list. Having your shopping list ready will enable you to do your shopping early and avoid the last-minute rush when things may be out of stock.
Essential Components of a Christmas Menu
For your special evening to be perfect, the template you use to create your Christmas menu should be complete and with all the essential components. The dishes on your Christmas menu should complement each other. The items on the menu are served at different times during the dinner party.
The following are essential components of a Christmas menu:
Starters and snacks
Starters and snacks are essential for your Christmas party. Your guests should have something to bite as they interact before you move to the dinner table. The main dish might also take longer to get ready for unforeseen reasons, and the snacks can keep them busy as you finish preparing the food.
Snacks and starters that can be added to your Christmas menu include:
- Garlic prawns
- Italian cheese log
- French cheese puffs
- Cucumber canapes with Smoked Salmon Mousse
- Prawn cocktail
- Prawn dipping sauces
- Crockpot BBQ little smokies
- Goat cheese marinara dip
- Cranberry walnut pinwheels
- French onion dip
Salads and appetizers
Before going to the main and side dishes, having your appetizer and salad in mind is important. Make your dinner table colorful by adding tasty salads and appetizers. They should be prepared well to give you a good appetite for the main dish.
Salads and appetizers may include:
- Celebration Salmon Salad
- Winter Salad
- Christmas Tree Fruit & Cheese Platter
- Pomegranate Salad
- Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cranberries
Your main dish should be the centerpiece of the selected template to craft your menu. It is served during dinner when all are seated at the table and ready to eat. It should be carefully picked for every one you share your dinner with.
Examples of Christmas mains are:
- Roast turkey
- Prime ribs
- Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glazed Ham
- Pork roast
- Baked Parmesan-crusted Salmon
The side dish accompanies the main dish at your Christmas dinner party. The two should match for you to have a wonderful dinner to mark the special occasion.
Examples of sides include:
- Homemade Turkey Gravy
- Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Cornbread Casserole
- Baked Mac & Cheese
- Fondant sweet potatoes
- From Scratch Green Bean Casserole
- Parmesan Rosemary Dinner Rolls
- Honey Roasted carrots
Your Christmas menu is not complete without bread. Cornbread has proven to be a favorite over the years because of its softness and sweet taste. The slices of bread should be baked to perfection, allowing you to eat them alone or use them to clear soup from your plate.
Examples of bread that you can include on your plate are:
- Cheese, herb, and garlic bread
- Mediterranean bread
- Cheesy Zucchini bread
- Dinner rolls
- Savory Muffins
Desserts and drinks
Drinks should be in plenty at your Christmas party and must be included in your menu. There should be a variety of drinks so that each guest has something to enjoy. The dessert is essential since you need something sweet after dinner.
Desserts and drinks may include:
- Hot Chocolate Dip
- White Hot Chocolate
- Champagne Punch
- Butter Cookies
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Chocolate Mirror Glaze
- Christmas Trifle
- Moist, easy fruit cake
Your Complete Christmas Dinner Planning Guide
A premade printable template can help you take the right steps to prepare a Christmas dinner menu for your friends and family. It lets you know what to do as you approach the special day. Some tasks must be done as early as a week before Christmas, and others can be done as the day approaches.
The following guide will help you plan the necessary steps:
A few weeks before Christmas
Preparations must start earlier than a week before Christmas to ensure everything is perfect. You should prepare a shopping list separating perishable items from non-perishable ones. Non-perishable items can be bought earlier. Peel and crush garlic and place them in a jar. Pour a cup of honey, leaving some space to give room for fermentation, and cover it with a lid. After every two days, stir any carbon di-oxide build-up to recoat the cloves and store them at room temperature.
Two days before Christmas
The remaining items and groceries on your shopping list should be bought two days before Christmas. Cut off the ends of the lemons to use to brine chicken. Slice into quarters, place them in a jar covered with salt, squeeze out the juice until they are fully covered, and then store them at room temperature. Soak the fresh and dried fruits completely in alcohol to use as a salad dressing. Table linens and cutlery should be prepared at this point.
The day before Christmas
As the day approaches, preparations are bound to get more intense. Prepare the brine water using Kosher salt, the preserved lemon, garlic, and desired fresh herbs. Chill the brine first, flip the chicken, submerge it in the brine, then cover and store in the fridge. Using some of the soaked fruits, prepare the fruit cake. Once cool, pour some brandy over the cake to add to its flavor and store it in a cool place. Feed the brandy to the cake at intervals. Prepare the red cabbage and apple slices and freeze them.
Your preparations on Christmas day should begin early so that dinner is ready in time. Around 3 hours to dinner, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Drizzle with butter and salt. Roast for about one hour, occasionally turning down the heat until juices run clear. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Make the gravy to serve with the chicken.
Prepare the custard to use with the cake, and let the red cabbage and apple slices thaw out before reheating. The Tiramisu is best served when chilled. Take it out once the guests eat their dinner.
Right before dinner
It is essential to know what to prepare immediately before the guests arrive and what to serve them before, during, and after the dinner party. Before your guests arrive, ensure the table is set up, and all the dishes are ready. As guests arrive, you may start serving starters and snacks and move to the table when all are present.
Ask a guest to help you serve the dishes if you need an extra hand. When dinner is over, and your guests have room for more food, remove the cake from the refrigerator and serve it with the custard.
As you plan your Christmas dinner menu, you need to ensure that it is perfect, and the best way to do this is by making early preparations using a pre-planned Word template for your Christmas menu. The menu is of great importance as it helps you keep calm through the process and ensures that you have everything planned and ready on time for the party. Your menu should include snacks, appetizers, a main dish, a side dish, bread, dessert, and drinks. Planning the steps to prepare your Christmas dinner menu as the final day approaches are essential. You can also download our free pre-made MS Word templates and save time.