{Day 17} Holiday Meal Planner Printables

Welcome to Day 17 of the 31 Days 31 Printables series.  If you’re just joining us, I’m spending the whole month of October sharing at least one free printable each day.  Right now I’m working on updating my holiday planner printables, and I’m happy to say I’m finally on the last two.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to close the book on the holiday planner and move on to updating some of my other printables.  Before I call this planner update finished though, I have two more printables to share:  The Holiday Meal Planner Printables.

Day 17 - Holiday Meal Planner Printables- This collection of holiday meal planners will help you plan all aspects of your holiday meal.

I swear I spend all year looking forward to Christmas dinner.  Some years I dread the cooking involved, and other years I look forward to it.  It seems like each year Travis and I add something new to our holiday meal, and each time we do it means we have to adjust our plan of attack for cooking the meal without having to slave all day in the kitchen.  To help with that I created the Cooking Plan printable, and I have to say, year after year, it has been a big help.

free printable, holiday planner, menu planner, cooking planner, shopping list

Holiday Meal Planner Printables

I still remember the first time I cooked a holiday meal for just our little family.  It was the first time, in my entire life, that I was not spending Christmas with my parents.  We had just moved up north and it was only Travis, our Teen (then 8) and me.  I was six months pregnant with Liam and wasn’t feeling up to cooking a massive spread and Travis was on shift so he had to be ready to go if a call came in.  That Christmas dinner was the simplest Christmas dinner I had ever had.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, some veggies, stuffing, gravy and biscuits with apple crumble for dessert.  Aside from the stuffing, and how long the turkey took to cook in the oven, it was no different from making a roast dinner.  No appies or deli plates, no cheese and crackers, just a simple little meal, and you know what I LOVED it.  As the years have gone by we’ve slowly added to our simple meal.  With careful planning we’ve managed to still keep the making of the meal simple.  That’s where my cooking plan printable comes in.

Because this one has been working so well for us, I’ve left it as is.  Like all the other holiday printables it has gotten a face lift but that’s it.  This little planner page keeps track of everything I need for our holiday meal:

  • Recipe:  what recipe or dish we want to make
  • Book/Reference:  Where I can find the recipe if we have one
  • Make Ahead:  I use this part to jot down how far ahead of time I can make it.
  • The Calendar: We usually start cooking some of our dishes two weeks ahead of time, and I jot down when I’m making what, so I know to have the ingredients I need on hand.
  • Shopping List:  I use this to jot down ingredients we need that we may not always have on hand, or that I know we’re out of.  Once I have the list of recipes, it’s just a matter of checking the pantry and freezer to see what we need.

The cooking planner printable is perfect for planning your holiday meal, included planning for those dishes you can make a head of time.

This next one needs no introduction from me, I’ve already talked about it in the Thanksgiving Planner post.  I just wanted to make a copy to match the rest of the holiday planner printables, and I thought this one would make a great partner to the cooking planner.

And of course, you know I couldn’t resist making up a half-size version right!  I’m really happy that I held off on updating the holiday menu plan so that I could pair it with the cooking plan for the half-size version.  They make a great team, at least in my humble opinion.

This half-size planner page features the cooking plan and holiday menu planner pages. Use these two to plan and organize your holiday meal so you can spend more time enjoying being with your family and friends.

Now that the holiday meal planning printables are done, I believe it is time to concluded to the holiday planner segment of our October programming.  Thanks so much for bearing with me while I updated them all.  Not only do I think the new colours and fonts look better, but I’m really happy to now have a half-size version of the planner for all of you have requested one.  It warms my heart when I’m able to honor

Don’t forget, if you have a suggestion for changes you would like to see to old printables, or even new printables you would like to see offered here, let me know in the comments, send me an email, or reach out on social media. You never know, I might choose your idea next!

{31 Days 31 Printables} Day 17 - Holiday Meal Planner Printables. Uses these handy printables to help organize and plan all aspects of your holiday meal, leaving you more time to enjoy visiting with family and friends.



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  1. Bonnie Harris says:

    Love your printables! Everything needed for the advance prep leading up to the big holiday meals. I will be using these at least three times a year (more if I’m lucky). Which leads to my suggestion for a change to the Cooking Plan. Remove the “December” and give a more generic title or omit as you did on the half-size set. Then it can be used for other holidays, like with your new Thanksgiving Menu Planner.

    Large meals take time, and more importantly, timing to get all that food cooked and to the table while it’s hot and on schedule. I would love to see a schedule for the day we actually cook. Lots of lines where I can enter a time and task+notes for the whole day. You could call it Cooking Schedule.
    10 Remove turkey from fridge, remove giblets, wash and remove any
    pin feathers, put in roasting pan, let come to room temp
    11:50 Preheat oven to 450°
    12. Put turkey in oven, DO NOT cover
    12:45 Check for well browned, reduce temp to 325°, cover with foil

    Also would like small sidebar for lists of things needed that day like pots and pans, cooking utensils, serving pieces, serving utensils, and other tasks that don’t go with timed tasks. You could title it Other Tasks.

    I feel many others who are preparing meals for large families would appreciate this new schedule. Even those preparing smaller meals would like a schedule that they can work out ahead of time to make sure they don’t forget something during the hustle and bustle of meal prep.

    Can you tell I really want this? Please consider and let me know if I can answer questions.


    1. ScatteredSquirrel says:

      Hi Bonnie, I’m thrilled to hear that you like the holiday planner and that you use it more than once a year. To be honest, I’ve been slowly working on ideas to revamp these pages and I will definitely keep your ideas in mind when I start working on them. A cooking schedule is a great idea. I’m always scribbling times and what not down on a piece of note paper, I don’t know why I didn’t think of making a printable for it. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I don’t know when I’ll have them done, but they are going on my list.

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