The problem is that for some cooks, those warm fuzzy feelings are often marinating in a lot of stress. Make things easier this year and go out for a meal.
At the Grand America Hotel, there will be no shortage of food or ambience. In the Imperial Ballroom, the "Grand" brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For $52 (adults) or $26 (kids 5 to 12; kids under five no charge), diners can wind their way through a formidable selection of favorites.
Later in the day, the Garden Café's traditional buffet requires a reservation and a hearty appetite - save room for one of Kurtis Baguley's desserts. Grand America, 555 S. Main St., Salt Lake City; 801-258-6707, http://www.grandamerica.com.
In Park City, enjoy buffet fare with mountain views at Glitretind. Stein Eriksen's fine-dining venue hosts a buffet from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lodge guests and locals can indulge in Zane Holmquist's impressive traditional spread and Raymond Lammers' award-winning desserts. Just don't eat the chocolate sculpture. Cost is $59 per person, kids 12 and under are $25. Glitretind, 7700 Stein Way, Park City; 435-645-6455.
For meals requiring less legwork, get the traditional holiday feast at Butcher's Chop House and Bar in Park City. From noon to 10:30 p.m. there will be roast turkey with pan gravy, candied yams, fresh sage and dried apricot stuffing. The restaurant offers special desserts like pumpkin cheesecake with Cointreau cream ($6.50) and apple crisp with dulce de leche ($6.50). Cost is $19.95 per person, kids are $9.95. Butcher's Chop House and Bar, 751 Main St., Park City; 435-647-0040.
Chef-owner Eric DeBonis of the Paris Bistro brings a multicourse new American menu to the 15th and 15th neighborhood. A roast pumpkin and caramel apple soup, quinoa with fresh pine nuts and fresh herbs and free-range turkey is just a sampling of what's in store from 4 to 8 p.m. Cost is $44.95 per person, kids 12 and under are $19.95. The Paris Bistro, 1500 S. (Emerson) 1500 East, Salt Lake City; 801-486-5585, http://www.theparis.net.
Here are a few more restaurants open for the holiday. It's one of the busiest dining days of the year, so remember to make reservations soon.
* Alta Lodge, Little Cottonwood Canyon; 801-322-4631. Besides turkey, pan gravy with lingonberries and wild rice and apricot stuffing try the Prince Edward Island mussels and wild mushroom bisque. Cost: $35 per person. Hours: 6:15 to 8:45 p.m.
* Boulevard, 2335 E. Murray-Holladay Road, Holladay; 801-274-6999. In additional to the traditional turkey meal and the grand dessert buffet, guests can choose a rosemary garlic New York strip or pistachio crusted halibut meal. Cost: $29.95 for adults; $15 for children 12 and under. Seatings at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
* The Blue Boar Inn, 1235 Warm Springs Road, Midway; 888-650-1400. Fixed three-course menu featuring turkey and all the fixings as well as less traditional offerings such as apple cider marinated pork chops, wild arctic char and carved prime rib. Cost: $45 for adults; $25 for children under 12. Served: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 2283 W. City Center Court, West Valley City; 801-977-8221. Cost: $8.99 for adults, $4.49 for children. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations not required.
* Grub Steak Restaurant, 2200 Sidewinder Drive, in Prospector Square, Park City; 435-649-8060. Parsnip and pear soup, followed by roast turkey, pine nut stuffing and more. Cost is $24.75 for adults and $13.75 for children 12 and under. Served from 4 to 8:30 p.m.
* Log Haven, 6451 E. Mill Creek Canyon Road; 801-272-8255. A four-course plated meal with choice of appetizer, soup or salad, entrée - turkey, prime loin of beef, salmon or vegetable ravioli - and dessert. Cost is $39.95. Served from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
* Mimi's Cafe, various locations. Holiday meals with all the sides will be served from 11 a.m. until closing. Cost: $14.99 for adults, $6.99 for children 12 and under.
* Silver Fork Lodge, 11332 E. Big Cottonwood Canyon (1 mile below Solitude); 801-533-9977. Dinner includes butter carrot bisque, roast turkey and ham, side dishes and a variety of desserts. Cost: $24 for adults, $12 for children 10 and under. Hours: noon to 6 p.m.