The Holiday Season is just around the corner. During this time of year, we spend more time together celebrating the holidays and entertaining everyone who just happens to stop by. With the increase in time spent together it’s easy to become stressed out and overwhelmed. There is so much that needs to be done in order to prepare for holiday dinners, festive fetes, and just the occasional drop-in visit. The list of things to do often times seems a mile long. Food to prepare, gifts to buy, places to go, and people to see. The hustle and bustle is almost constant. Is there any way to avoid what feels like constant stress during the holiday season? Yes! We have five helpful holiday planning tips for you to help your holidays go off without a hitch.
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Make a List
This seems basic enough. Whether it’s for the entire holiday season or just one soiree, write out just what needs to be done to make the event successful. Having a holiday party for friends and family? Plan out the menu, make a grocery list, plan out what needs to be cleaned etc. Consider it a game plan for the day. Not only will everything surely get done, but crossing things off is incredibly satisfying. Don’t overload yourself. Delegate responsibilities to others, children, and even party guests. Don’t be afraid to ask. Often times party guests want to help but not impose themselves upon the host/hostess. Have them refill drinks and snacks leaving you more time to mingle and enjoy yourself.
Over the season you never know who’s going to drop in for an unexpected visit. Shop with the goal of entertaining all season long in mind. Stock a variety of cookies and crackers in your pantry. Purchase nuts in bulk, and have a selection of go-to dips in mind just in case the situation arises. Every host and hostess have a well-stocked selection of refreshments available. When it comes to drinks keep a selection of coffee, tea, cocoa, and soda on hand. For the adults, stock a bar with the essentials including gin, vodka, and a selection of mixers. If you really want to go the extra mile have a selection of wines or even champagne to the mix.
Set the Mood
When it comes to having a party, the more casual yet festive the better. Comfort is key. There’s no need to create a sensory overload when it comes to decorations, scents or sounds. HGTV suggest subtle decorations like grouping a set of vintage ornaments and twinkle lights as a centerpiece or adding a classic wreath with a stunning ribbon to your front door. When it comes to scents winter has some of the best. Whether it’s a Christmas tree, apple cinnamon, or even cloves, candles or fragrances, there are inexpensive ways to your home smell cozy. Create a playlist of your favorite mix of holiday tunes or stream one on a site like Spotify. Avoid playing songs with lyrics during dinner to prevent guests from feeling like they must talk over the music.
This one might seem a little contradictory. If I could always be prepared I wouldn’t be so stressed, would I? Well, there is one thing we often forget to prepare for during the holiday season: unexpected gift givers. You know, the ones who mean well by sharing their gift giving spirit, but ultimately leave us feeling badly we had nothing to give them in return. Purchase small gifts, even throughout the year, to prepare for these situations. Buy items like champagne or wine in bulk. You can give these items out one bottle at a time ensuring no one goes home empty handed. Everyone enjoys a sweet treat from time to time, so while you’re busy baking, bake a little extra. Cookies and other treats never fail to impress and they are an inexpensive way to show your gratitude and appreciation.
Do It Your Way
At the end of the day remember there is no perfect holiday. There’s no need to create overcomplicated menus or a giant fuss. Relieve the pressure by using your tried and true family traditions. They are traditions for a reason after all. There’s always a solution to any problem or frustration. Order catering or change up prepared food by adding a few special ingredients. You guests won’t mind premixed drinks like eggnog or sangria. Create a go-to signature cocktail or drink that can be served at any time. Ideas like these reduce the amount of extra stress because the holidays are what you make them, and being together is what’s important.
Now that the holiday season is seemingly approaching quicker and quicker each day, we hope these tips can help you ease the stress. The holidays are a joyful time to spend with one another taking in all of the sights, scents, and sounds. It’s easy to forget this when we decide to take on too much, work on overload, or just simply procrastinate. Now that you’re ready to kick off the holidays, follow our special holiday Pinterest board for more tips, tricks, and inspiration here!