I am ecstatic because our six kids, 5 spouses and 7 grandchildren will be together for Christmas. It doesn't happen too often. We're planning a family photo and lots of good times and eats. There will be 20 of us with 11 staying at our house, and four staying with my daughter and her family of 5. My husband is emphatic about bringing in food as much as possible and eating out so food preparations are less than usual. Usually it's a lot of work, even with lower numbers and help from the adults.
The first couple arrives one week before Christmas, 8 days from now. Two days later my son and grandson arrive early afternoon. The next day my daughter and family arrive, 2 adults, 3 grade school kids. Next day is Sat., and another son and wife will be arriving by car. Sunday, a daughter in law arrives just in time for the family photo.
Ten adults and children leave Christmas day. I'm planning an ongoing breakfast/brunch/lunch.
We may go out to eat the first day of company. This couple aren't likely to eat much at the house the first few days. Food I want to serve for the next visitors Thursday will be tortilla chicken soup from a local diner or taco hot dish that is easy to make. I'll have on hand deli beef, summer sausage, cheeses, good breads and some vegie dish that can be done ahead or bought; items for snacking: cheese sticks, yogurt, fruit.
By next day with 5 more coming, I have a real good chicken pasta salad that should work well and will think of something else to add, maybe a sandwich tray from a local deli. I imagine 3-4 from the local family will join us.
People usually make their own breakfasts with frozen waffles, cereal, etc. I have a good pancake recipe. Lunch is catch as catch can with leftovers and eating lunch out.
By Saturday, another couple will join us. There will probably be about 15 of us. I have some frozen pulled pork I made, and pulled beef from the local meat market. Maybe chips with this. Need some vegie dish here to balance the meat.
We're counting on our adult children helping and adding in a dish or two here and there. Or my daughter may have us over one evening. Some friends with smaller numbers have each of them do a meal. Not sure how we'd do that here. For this time, we'll have a hand in all the meals.
When Sunday rolls around, we're planning to order a pizza, and I can make a big salad for 20.
For our biggest event, Christmas Eve, my husband wants, and I'm agreeable, to have appetizers instead of a regular meal. I have a ham and plan to have small buns to use for sliders. For this amount of people, I read to have about 10 appetizers, with about 3-4 warm ones. One of the sons-in-law will probably offer to make meat and cheese roll-ups. I'd like some seafood, maybe shrimp; what I'd really like would be a seafood stew served in little shot glasses, but I haven't been able to experiment, and I have bad luck trying out new recipes on company. Mac and cheese in muffin size would be good for the kids. We have a group with special needs that do a good job with platters. I'll get a fruit platter and vegie pizza or vegies and dip. I have a plate of nuts and dried fruits from Russ & Daughters that will be nice to add to the mix.
I'm going to church cookie and candy sales. We'll have a nice treat platter from that on Christmas Eve. Someone will probably make or buy a regular dessert. I have a cookie specialty I traditionally make. Hope i can find the time. I know lasagna would be good somewhere in the mix, but I might not have time. Would one meat and one vegie lasagna (9x13) work for 20?
Christmas morning should fall into place with quiches and egg bakes, muffins and fruit; maybe sausages.
Haven't given much thought to beverages, but we'll have plenty of coffee, milk, juice, soda, wine, beer, as well as non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
If you chowhounders can make it through reading this long post, I'd welcome any suggestions. Thanks for sharing in my excitement.