If you are like me, the most stressful part of the holiday season is not cooking the turkey, entertaining early relatives (don’t mind my robe and curlers uncle Bill), or getting all the wrapping done on time. Instead, it is transporting the gifts and food that has been so thoughtfully prepared. The pressure mounts because you are expected to show up with the appropriate gifts and the sweet potato dish from last year and the year before. Here is a simple guide to wrapping, packaging, loading and transporting everything from breakable presents to sloshy casseroles:
Get a lot of boxes before you start. A lot. Presents in boxes may lack creativity but they will ensure easy stacking and will not easily break or bend on the ride to Grandma’s house.
The easiest way I’ve found to transport food is to cover it in towels to keep it warm (who knows how many dishes will already be in the oven when you get there), and place it in a large box top with a pot holder underneath. By placing food in a box top you can rest assure that your family will taste the first bite of your dish and not your car floor mats.
Cocoon fragile gifts and food by large, soft packages that will keep everything intact while in transit. Above all other suggestions do not put your fragile items near a door or back hatch. The item will shift in transit and when you open that door it will fall to the ground, turning your mood from Tiny Tim to Ebenezer Scrooge in a split second.
For best results, take a pointer from the old west and drive your wagon like it is loaded with nitro glycerin. No sharp turns, keep it under the speed limit, and all will be fine.