As Power Outages Loom, Some Are Preparing Christmas Dinner Early

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As a sprawling winter storm hits the United States and Canada, some people are moving up their Christmas dinner preparations, racing against potential power outages.

By late Friday morning, more than 1.5 million customers in the United States and Canada were without electricity, according to, which compiles data from utilities. And with the storm continuing, more outages could be coming.

Renée Dyer, a novelist in Epping, N.H., said she had planned to make a roast for Christmas Day, and her sons had decided on a hot chocolate cake for dessert. But after losing power on Friday morning, and with high winds expected to continue for at least another day, she knew she needed to change her tack.

Instead of the cake, she decided on a no-bake eggnog cheesecake. “Even if we don’t have our oven back, we can still make a festive dessert,” she said. For Christmas Eve, her family will keep it simple: Takeout pizza. “Something we’ve never done,” she added. “We’re really changing everything up last-minute.”

She is still searching Pinterest for a replacement main dish for Christmas Day. “It might end up being a spaghetti night,” Ms. Dyer said. “Whenever things don’t go the way you plan, just make a new plan, and try to make it as fun as possible.”

Kathy Coveyou of Michigan said she cooked Christmas dinner and dessert, including a Swedish apple pie, in advance in case the storm knocked out power.Credit…Kathy Coveyou

Nearly 1,000 miles away, in northern Michigan, David and Kathy Coveyou, who run an organic vegetable farm, said they were cooking in advance in case they lost power. Mrs. Coveyou said she had already made a potato casserole dish — a family favorite — Christmas cookies and a Swedish apple pie, which they would warm up on a grill. “Normally, we’d still be baking today,” Mr. Coveyou said. If power goes out, they will roast a pork loin on the grill, instead of in the oven.

“No matter what comes, we’re going to be enjoying it, and there’s so much beauty up here with the snow,” Mr. Coveyou said. “We might lose power but we’re going to have an absolutely wonderful Christmas.”

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