Let me shoot you straight, because we’re friends and it’s almost Christmas and if you can’t be honest with your good friends at Christmas then when can you? The shopping trip that saw me gather materials for the meal plan you are about to read was not my best. Not prices or coupon wise, although those weren’t stellar. No, the real problem with the shopping trip was me. Specifically? My attitude.
What I’m saying here is that I went full on Grinch mode at the start of this shopping trip.
Eventually, through the magic of Christmas, I found some clearanced treats perfect for stocking stuffers. But man, those first few aisles… things were rough. There was a snow storm in my heart. I was less of a Jingle Bell and more of a Batman Smells kinda shopper. With a little time, space, and hot chocolate, I’ve diagnosed the problem.
I was in Christmas Feast anxiety mode.
You’ve been there. A big holiday with a big meal is coming up and all you can think about is that big meal. Who cares if your family still needs to eat 10 days before Christmas? You’ve got a Feast to think about! What does it matter if your child now thinks Trail Mix is one of the five food groups?? You’ve got a FEAST to think about!! How do these people expect you to continue to provide them with three meals a day??? YOU’VE GOT A FEAST TO THINK ABOUT!!! Deep breaths, for you and definitely for me. Even if we are pros at gift giving, deal finding, and organizing, the holiday stress can still find a way to hit us where it hurts. If you’re in that space right now, I’m going to tell you what I told myself:
Be cool, Kristen B. (But insert your own name. Unless you are also a Kristen B. Then this will work.)
Christmas is going to happen. It’s coming for us no matter what, and getting all anxious about every separate aspect is only going to derail your enjoyment of the actual day. We’re in the home stretch. You’ve bought the presents. You’ve sent the cards. And on the 25th, you’ll cook the food. So give yourself a pat on the back, and get down to business. And by business I mean feeding your family for the next seven days which are not holidays.
- Breakfast- Blueberry Banana Shakes with Trail Mix
- Lunch- Pepperoni and Cheese place, with sliced Mango and Clementines
- Dinner- Seared Steak and Potato Wedges
*One of my housewarming gifts was a new set of pans. I mean, is there anything greater? I’m taking advantage of my fancy new pans by cooking meals that require the fancy. Hence, seared steak. Not just pan steak, mind you. Seared. I’m practically a contestant on Master Chef.
- Breakfast-Cereal with Blueberries
- Lunch- Banana Pancakes and Bacon
- Dinner– Homemade Mac & Cheese
*If you haven’t made homemade Mac & Cheese yet, you need to. It’s a lot of more filling than the box stuff, not to mention a little healthier. I say a little because it’s still got butter and a ton of cheese (mmmmm cheese) but real butter and real cheese have healthy fats. Because it’s not processed, you’ll find it’s more filling so you’ll eat less. If you’re feeling really crazy, you could even use whole grain noodles.
- Breakfast- Cereal with Bananas
- Lunch- LO Pancakes and LO Mac& Cheese
- Dinner- Fajita Chicken Bowls
*Sometimes I dream about filling a swimming pool with Salsa and diving into it ala Scrooge McDuck. This recipe combines my love of salsa with my love of easy. Cook chicken breasts in salsa at 400 for 20 minutes . Let sit for 10 minutes, then slice. Pour the pan salsa over sliced chicken and let sit. Add rice, beans (if that’s your thing), avocado, cheese, and fresh salsa (I really love salsa) and you’ve got dinner! I could eat this once a week and never get tired of it. You might get tired of reading about it, though. ;)
- Breakfast-Homemade Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Lunch- LO Fajita Chicken Bowls
- Dinner- Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp
*Last week I bought that Asiago, remember? Asiago is not a cheese I am overly familiar with, but I understood it to be similar to Pecorino Romano so I figured I could swing it. What I didn’t realize is that a little Asiago goes a long way. I’ve got some cheese to use up. Enter Alfredo. I’ve made an Alfredo sauce one or twice, but always with Parmesan. The cheese consistencies are similar, so I believe it to be doable. I am a huge proponent of making what you have in your kitchen work for you. So this cheese better work!
- Breakfast- Sliced Apples with Trail Mix
- Lunch- LO Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp
- Dinner-Steak Roast and Mashed Potatoes
*Ok, I am calling it what it is. This is a dry run for my Christmas Feast. Mashed Potatoes are my arch nemesis. I’ve tried 10 different recipes, 5 times each, and no matter what, I just can’t seem to crack the code. They’re always just fine. Never terrible, but never great. Every holiday I say to myself, ‘This is the one, Kristen B. This is the year you crack the mashed potato code.” This could be my year. I’ve found a recipe I like. I’ve done a few experimental tastings. Getting one more practice in before the big day.
- Breakfast- Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf
- Lunch- LO Steak and Mashed Potatoes
- Dinner- Jambalaya
*More pre Feast experiments. I was recently gifted a loaf pan, which is pretty exciting for me. It is crazy to think that 6 years ago I couldn’t boil water, and now I am geeking out over loaf pans. Anyway, I am wanting to do an Orange Chocolate Chip Loaf for Christmas, but first I need to test drive this loaf pan. So I am going with Banana Chocolate Chip loaf, because I am comfortable with the muffin version, so it’s a good place to start. Bonus? Delicious breakfast.
- Breakfast-Apple, Clementines, and Whatever Other Fruit is Left with Trail Mix
- Lunch-LO Jambalaya
- Dinner- Dealer’s Choice
* Leaving Thursday night dinner open, as usual. Anticipating this upcoming shopping trip to be a bit of a free for all, what with Christmas right around the corner. Going in with an open mind and a tight wallet. We’ll see what we can find. Should make the meals leading up to our Christmas Feast extra exciting. Adventure is out there!
How about you? Pre-holiday Feast jitters got you in a funk? Or are you easy breezy? Tell me all about it in the comments, either way. You can encourage me, or I can encourage you, and we’ll get to the big meal together!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!