Christmas dinner — or any big holiday gathering — is never only about the food. Unless you’re somehow hosting your Christmas festivities out of a pristine, four-star hotel room, your meal is also going to be about managing the mess in your apartment, keeping the kitchen reasonably clean during the get-together, and of course, also delivering a stunning meal that will wow your guests. Enter the crock pot Christmas dinner: a concept that will address every single concern you might have about serving a standout holiday meal. (Well, almost every concern — unfortunately, whether or not Aunt Ida will pick a fight with Gram-Gram is not a problem to be solved by your slow cooker.)
But the crock pot is pretty amazing at addressing other issues. The main course, for example. Ham is a Christmas dinner staple, but it’s a dish that’s usually thought of as being very high maintenance, what with basting it, cooking it, checking it, basting it some more. Now imagine being able to present a delicious, juicy ham with only five minutes prep time. That’s the magic of the crock pot for you. Similarly, there’s no need to worry about juggling side dishes when you can cook up accompaniments like flawless, creamy, ranch-flavored mashed potatoes in your slow cooker (and the potato peeling is optional; oh, joy!). Yup, cooking up your meal in the crock pot will give you reason to celebrate (and the time to enjoy the festivities, too).