The holidays are a time for joy and celebration with family and friends, a time for making memories and enjoying traditions.

However, if you host a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you may have learned that it can also be stressful.

As the host, you know a lot of planning and preparations will need to be made before your guests arrive.

To guarantee you have a great holiday dinner, you’ll want to prepare your kitchen since it will be the most used room in the house that day.

While it may all sound overwhelming, following these 10 tips can help ease your mind and ensure your kitchen is clean, functional, and glistening.

Get your appliances ready

Before you begin cooking your holiday dinner, you’ll want to decide which appliances you will be using.

Appliances you won’t need can be removed from the kitchen and stored elsewhere to free up space.

The appliances that will be used, such as the stove, will likely need a little maintenance.

If everything is working correctly, all you will need to do is wipe it down and give it a good cleaning.

While it may be easier to use the self-clean option, we advise you to clean your stove by hand since the self-cleaning option takes a toll on your stove, and the last thing you want is for it to stop working right before dinner.


Take a look around your kitchen and remove any unnecessary items or clutter, such as papers, mail, and other odds and ends that don’t belong in the kitchen.

You should remove anything you will not use for your holiday dinner to give you more space and a cleaner look.

The aesthetic is everything during the holidays, and keeping your kitchen clean and open, will give it a more streamlined look.

You should also clean out drawers, your fridge, and your pantry. This will leave you with more space to store the food and items you need for your holiday dinner.

Plan your menu

Now that you know your appliances are working and your kitchen is beginning to look clean and flawless, you’ll want to consider what dishes you’ll prepare. This is one of the most important of all the kitchen tips.

If you’re traditional, you may follow a specific menu and not need to think much about what you’ll be making, but you’ll probably need to create a grocery list.

You can also share the menu with your guests and find out if they plan to bring any dishes with them when they come.

Knowing who is bringing what to dinner will help you with food placement and ensure you don’t end up with several of the same dishes.

kitchen tips for the holidays

Before preparing your dinner, make sure you have the spices, condiments, cookware, and storage containers needed.

Non-food items to consider purchasing include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Coffee filters
  • Cork screw
  • Can opener
  • Containers for leftovers
  • Dish soap and dishwashing detergent
  • Garbage bags
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Tooth picks
  • Waxed paper
  • Ziploc bags

Commonly used spices you may need include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Cloves
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla extract

Childproof your kitchen

If you have children of your own your kitchen may already be kid-friendly.

However, if you don’t have children, you’ll want to ensure your little family members and friends are safe.

Children like to get into whatever they can when adults are distracted, which is expected during the holidays.

Make sure sharp utensils, matches, lighters, batteries, household cleaners, and anything else that may harm a child are stored in upper cabinets, inaccessible, or locked away with child-safety latches.

Ensure you have enough furniture

Make a list of how many guests you will have so you can be sure that everyone has a place to sit.

If there will be several children you may even consider setting up two separate tables.

Some families choose to have a kid table where kids can do arts and crafts and eat dinner together.

holiday kitchen tips

Get festive

One of the most fun parts about having a holiday dinner is decorating.

Sure, the food is essential, but making your home aesthetically pleasing, with decorations and pleasant smells, will make great memories.

When decorating your home, sticking to a minimal amount of holiday decor can help you achieve a festive and inviting space.

Less is generally more when decorating, especially if you are trying to maintain a modern and contemporary look.

Wreathes, mini-Christmas trees, and mistletoe are popular holiday decor choices. To find more great minimalist Christmas decor ideas, check out Pinterest.

Use aluminum foil to line baking dishes

When the dinner ends, all of your appliances, cookware, and dishes will need to be cleaned.

No one enjoys the clean-up, but you can make it easier by lining your baking dishes with aluminum foil.

The aluminum foil will prevent food from sticking to your dishes and sheet pans.

You can also use your aluminum foil for leftovers since most guests like taking a piece of their holiday dinner home.

kitchen tips in time for the holidays

Consider a beverage bar or coffee station

If you have the space, setting up a drinking station can save you time.

As the host, it may be up to you to serve your guests their beverages, which can become overwhelming and time-consuming if you have a lot of guests.

Setting up even a small space that includes drinks and cups will allow guests to help themselves.

Some families even set up juice bars for children, making it easier for them to locate and grab their drinks as well.

If you set up a beverage bar, be sure that any alcoholic beverages are not in reach of your younger guests and that someone is monitoring it.

Take good care of your garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal may be the last thing on your mind when you think about pulling off a perfect holiday dinner.

But, it will likely get a lot of use before, during, and after dinner.

Sometimes when rushing, things end up in the sink, such as wrappers, bread ties, tea bags, bones, and other things that can jam a garbage disposal.

Take the time to ensure nothing is in the sink that doesn’t belong there before using your disposal to avoid a breakdown.

Are you ready for the holidays?

Often, people like to update their kitchens and homes before the holidays to give their guests the most pleasant experience.

Who doesn’t feel happier and more comfortable in a brand-new, clutter-free, clean, and Euro-styled kitchen?

If you plan to host a dinner and want to upgrade your kitchen or cabinetry beforehand, Uniq Concepts can help.

We use high-quality products from some of the most reputable brands, like Bauformat, Ernestrust, and Miele, to ensure our client’s kitchen needs and expectations are met.

Check out our virtual showroom, or visit us in Fairfield, NJ.

Contact us or check out our blog to learn more about our services, the long-last products and materials we use, and how we can make your kitchen aesthetically pleasing for the holidays.