Every year we go full out for Thanksgiving, cooking like maniacs. As a contrast I like to plan a simple Christmas Eve meal for family. To me Christmas is a day of celebration and relaxation in which families stay at home together. As adults, we tend to forget what it must be like for a child to be whisked away for visiting, when all they want is to stay at home to enjoy their new books and toys.
Why not have extended family and friends over for a buffet, most of which can be prepared in advance? Serve a large baked potato per person with an assortment of toppings, such as grated cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon, chives and fried onions. Or a salad and soup bar with two soups made earlier in the week.
Make one of your family's favorite casseroles in advance to heat for Christmas lunch/dinner/supper. Breakfast can be bagels and cream cheese, or something equally easy to prepare. With Christmas cookies and candy there should be plenty to eat.
Christmas is the celebration of our Lords birth and family, not a time to stress ourselves by trying to impress our relatives and friends. You should be able to enjoy the holiday too.