It's Christmas Day and you're having the family over for dinner. The only thing you can think of is how much work you're going to have to put into this thing. Even a guest list of eight can be a real chore to cook for. And the last thing you want is for your family to go home grumbling about how bad the meal was, especially if some of those family members are in-laws. This may be your one chance to really make a good impression. But how do you do this without having to hire a high priced chef?

Well, believe it or not, there are Christmas dinners that you can prepare that are easy, inexpensive and tasty enough to send your guests home with a full stomach and a smile on their faces. If you think it can't possibly be that simple, keep reading because this is one easy to make dinner.

The first thing you have to do is break your dinner down into courses; the more the better. Guests who get a lot of food tend to be easily pleased because they feel they are getting a lot for their money. And heaven knows there are plenty of course you can dish out at a meal such as appetizer, soup, salad, etc. So where do we begin?

Starting with the appetizer, the best way to impress your guests is with a nice shrimp cocktail. Don't get those skimpy, skinny shrimp. Get the ones that are thick and long and meaty. This is a great ice breaker and will get your dinner off on more than the right foot. Don't worry about getting any fancy cocktail sauce. They're all pretty much the same. The shrimp alone, if it's good, will sell them.

Next you want a nice soup. Pick something a little fancier than a plain chicken soup. Maybe cream of chicken or cream of mushroom. Make sure that you have lots of saltine crackers to go with the soup. Serve the soup in a large bowl, not a cup. Again, you want to give your guests a lot to eat. The soup itself can even be out of a can. You don't have to make it homemade.

For salad, keep it simple. A nice green salad of lettuce, carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes will be fine. The whole key to the salad is the dressing. Make sure you have a number of dressings on the table for them to choose from. Don't put the dressing in the salad. Some people like Italian, some don't. Give them a choice. This will make them feel special that you were this thoughtful.

For the main dish, nobody likes anything more than a nice turkey. Turkey's are fool proof to cook these days with their built in little pop up timers. Make sure you have plenty of stuffing to go with it and of course cranberry sauce. Leaving out the cranberry sauce is like asking for daggers aimed at your heart. Along with the main dish, make sure you have a couple of hot vegetables like corn, green beans, carrots and cauliflower.

Finally, you want to have several desserts for your guests to choose from. A couple of pies and a cake should do fine. And of course you want two pots of coffee. One regular and one decaf. Not everybody wants to be on a caffeine high, especially if they're elderly.

By following these simple tips you are sure to have a Christmas dinner that everybody is sure to enjoy.

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