Now I won't bore you with the details of my shopping list, but here are the top 5 things to have on hand throughout the Holidays.
1. Taste of Home Best Holiday Recipes or similar inspirational publication. Published annually, this magazine has great photos, fresh ideas and simple instructions. This is where I generally get my inspiration for my new recipes.
2. Gladware. You will always need some. Great for storing cookies in the freezer and sending guest home with leftovers. I always stock up this time of year.
4. Paper Plates and Napkins. Takes the work and hassle out of cleaning up. We even serve Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner on themed paper plates. After all the work you did in the kitchen, make cleanup a breeze by using disposable Holiday themed plates. I stock up when they go on sale at the end of the holidays, and use the odd and ends to give away cookies.
5. Poinsettias. Need a centerpiece? Need a last minute hostess gift? Flat out forgot to decorate? Poinsettias are the solution to your problem. Large or small, traditional red or subtle salmon, there is a poinsettia for every occasion. But unless you are good with house plants (I'm not) don't buy them too early or the lower leaves will begin to fall off. Grab one a week at the store and you will always have a fresh one, and the older ones can be pushed to the background to provide a back drop.
A few simple preparations are all it takes to make your Holidays run smoothly.