When my parents divorced, I thought that it would be the end of our Christmas family dinner. But a few weeks after the big announcement, I came home from work to find a huge cardboard box on my stoop from my mom. Inside, nestled amidst decades of yellowing newspaper clippings, were all our tree ornaments.
I had officially been put in charge of Christmas.
Ten years later, our Christmas traditions are as entrenched as ever. My sisters and their families converge upon our house for a week of family quality time, culminating in a marathon dinner featuring smoked salmon, foie gras, oysters, shrimp, turkey, cheeses, and yuletide log. Cooking for the feast takes days and I have little time to dedicate to creating the children's meal, but I still want them to have a special night. Thankfully, over the years I've devised a few strategies to ensure they have a memorable dinner, too, without making me crazy.
My 5 favorite tips for the big holiday feast: