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10 Tips to Host a Stress-Free Holiday Dinner with Ham will help you save money and be organized. That way you can stop procrastinating and get your shopping done! You know you can’t wait to buy yourself fuzzy reindeer antler slippers with the matching pajamas! New cooks and old, I mean “seasoned” cooks, appreciate tips that make holiday dinners less stressful. You deserve to have fun too! Get the FREE printable tips below!
Holiday Dinner Hosting Tips
See our Stress-free Thanksgiving Planner too. It has a free printable planner week-by-week and day-by-day.
Plus, there’s a simple Honey Pineapple Ham Glaze recipe included to make your ham even more delicious and fresh without refined sugar!
Because Hatfield makes BIG and SMALL hams, you can make an easier, delicious holiday meal with just the right portion size for your small gathering! They offer these sizes:
- Hatfield ½ Pre-Sliced Pit Ham
- Hatfield ¼ Pre-Sliced Ham (with natural juices or with water added.)
Living in Pennsylvania within 20 miles of Hatfield, PA, I was raised on Hatfield pork products. They have a great reputation for not only making high quality meats but, also for being family owned and American made. Their products are ethically raised too.
Hatfield products are not only delicious, they’re gluten free! I’ve always liked the quality and convenience of buying and making Hatfield products because there’s no reason not to!
Whether you’re new to cooking or a cooking pro, you’ll like the convenience the Hatfield brand offers. I’ll tell you 10 Tips to Host a Stress-Free Holiday Dinner with Hatfield! But first, let’s save you a little money at the grocery store!
Now, let’s get to preparing the holiday meal!
Time or Money
First, decide what’s more important to you: TIME or MONEY?
If the answer is both, then pick and choose which fits you best.
Because if you have a tight budget, you’ll need to spend some more time with prep. But, if you have big budget this holiday season (you hit the Daily Number straight.. woohoo for you!), you can save time on buying prepped items such as, pre-chopped onions and celery or prepped vegetable trays to serve with appetizers.
10 Tips to Host a Stress-Free Holiday Dinner with Ham
1. Serve HAM instead of turkey Ham doesn’t need to be brined, basted, tied, twisted, rubbed, organs removed, massaged, etc. You get the picture! Other meats are high maintenance and hams are NOT. Ham doesn’t have a droopy neck skin flopping around to remind you to find a way to get rid of your double chin. Ham is easier to prep. Period.
Buy a boneless, whole or half ham and slice it to the thickness you prefer. Some people like ham in thin slices, some in thick slices.
2. Serve easy-to-make side dishes. Choose two starches and two non-starch vegetables
- Skip the green bean casserole if you don’t have time (although our homemade recipe is so YUMMY!) and make Green Beans Almondine. Buy it in the frozen vegetable section or add slivered almonds to green beans.
- Make baked or roasted potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. Serve baked potatoes with sour cream and chives or bacon and cheese.
- Make baked sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole. Serve them with cinnamon sugar and a dollop of butter.
- For Glazed Carrots, use baby carrots instead of regular carrots to eliminate peeling and cutting them.
3. Prep produce the day before.
- Wash and cut celery and onions the day before for stuffing/dressing.
- Wash and cut vegetables and fruit for veggie and fruit trays the day before.
- Prep your green beans, collard greens, corn on the cob, etc. the day before or even two days before.
- Peel and cube potatoes and store them in water up to 24 hours before you cook them.
4. Make two easy pie desserts two weeks ahead and freeze them. Pecan pie, sweet potato pie, fruit pies and cheesecakes freeze well. Or, ask Aunt Debbie to bring her delectable Cherry Pie that everyone drools over.
5. How to Make a Super Easy Honey Pineapple Ham Glaze
*The printable recipe is in the recipe card below. It’s super easy to make and without refined sugar.
- In a small sauce pan on med/high heat, add 6 oz of pineapple juice, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tsp each- ground cinnamon, ginger and corn starch and 3/4 tsp ground cloves.
- Cook on med/high heat for about 5 minutes or until it thickens.
- Pour it on top of the ham before you cook it. Put pineapple juice in the bottom of the pan instead of water for extra pineapple flavor.
6. What to Clean the Day You’re Hosting
It’s best to do as much cleaning ahead of time as possible but, there are a few places you should concentrate on to be clean before your guests arrive. Remove the dust from the ceiling fan before it glides like a feather onto someone’s white mashed potatoes.
Clean where most people congregate– the kitchen, dining area, living room and bathroom….not because people congregate in bathrooms but, because people use them and you don’t want it to be dirty!
Take out the trash, vacuum, dust, but don’t get caught up in things people won’t notice like the brick-a-brack on the shelf near the ceiling.
7. Use counter top appliances– “Everybody’s got em!” Borrow one if you need to. Slow cookers, pressure cookers or Air Fryers are great to cook side dishes.
- Counter top appliances save oven space and even counter space, if you put them in an adjacent room.
- Make (or serve) a small boneless ham, mashed potatoes, air fryer baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, slow cooker creamed corn, veggies, etc. in a countertop appliance.
- Soak your slow cooker insert and it’ll be easy as pie to clean.
8. Use a checklist and delegate tasks the day of the party.
- Write a detailed “To Do” list.
- Write a grocery list sectioned by department. See these tips on saving money on produce and meat.
- Delegate tasks to family members (ask someone to bring ice, a dessert, wine, etc.) It’ll save you time and money.
9. How to store leftover ham and make ham bone soup.
Ham bones render an absolutely delicious broth! DON’T TOSS THE HAM BONE! I have an amazing One Pot Ham Potato and Bean Soup recipe! It’s our most popular recipes!
After you’ve removed the ham from the ham bone, store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can freeze it too. Simply put the ham bone in a zipper freezer bag or plastic container, label, date and freeze it for up to 6 months.
Make a good ham bone soup with the ham bone. Boil it in a large stock pot for one hour with two quarts or so of chicken or turkey stock. You’ll need enough stock to cover most of the ham bone.
10. How to clean up your kitchen easily with little effort:
- Ask for help! Don’t wait until they walk away from the kitchen and start up a long conversation with talkative Uncle Larry.
- Soak your slow cooker insert and it’ll be easy as pie to clean.
- If you don’t have a dishwasher, use disposable plastic cups, utensils, plates and serving platters. Provide a sharpie marker so people can label their drink cups. You don’t have to serve dinner on paper plates but, you can serve water, coffee, desserts and appetizers in/on them especially if you have a large crowd to feed. Minimize dishes as much possible!
- First, toss leftover food on plates and put away leftover food in containers- someone else can do this. Just point them to the cupboard that has the containers. If you want to freeze leftovers, do it the next day.
- Then, begin loading dishwasher or washing by hand. Ask someone to wash and someone else to dry. You can put everything away because you know where it goes.
Remember when I talked about saving time or money? Here’s how you can use those lottery winnings or that well deserved Christmas bonus to good use and save time.
What you can buy prepped to save time:
- Hatfield 1/4 pre-sliced (with natural juices or water added) or a Hatfield 1/2 pre-sliced Pit Ham and you’ll save cutting time which will get everyone eating faster while it’s still hot!
- Pre-cut vegetables in containers if your budget allows but, check the dates first.
- Vegetable and fruit trays.
- Bagged, pre-washed, cut broccoli.
- Bagged lettuce and salad kits. They’re easy to assemble and add dressing.
- Pies at the grocery store or a good bakery.
Print your 10 Tips to Host a Stress-Free Holiday Dinner with Hatfield®FREE printable. Then, choose a simpler menu, write up your grocery and “To Do” list, go out to the store and buy a Hatfield ham to make your holiday meal easy and delicious!
Check out these holiday planners with FREE printables for more tips on week-by-week and day-to-day tasks :
Easter Dinner Planner includes menu suggestions and reminder to set up Easter Egg Hunt.
Thanksgiving Planner includes how to cook a turkey and make turkey brine and menu suggestions.
Christmas Dinner Planner includes how to make prime rib roast and menu suggestions.
NOTE: This post was updated on December 28, 2021.
Honey Pineapple Ham Glaze
- In a small sauce pan on med/high heat, add all ingredients and stir until it thickens, about 5 minutes.