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Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining Tips

At the beginning of each Holiday season, many of us make the resolution to spend less, rush around less, stress less and give more.  However, even with our good intentions, there are still Holiday dinners to be prepared, gifts to be purchased and parties to attend that seem to fill up our month of joyful celebrations with a list endless obligations.  Even now, as I write this I'm feeling very behind on my own Holiday checklist!

One way to make our Holiday "to-do's" less stressful is to simplify our Holiday Entertaining.  Hosting the perfect family dinner or festive cocktail party this time of year can sometimes seem like a big burden.  Too often, we feel like our homes have to look perfect and the food has to be expensive and elaborate so we can impress our friends and family.  With these high expectations come a lot of stress and not a whole lot of fun. 

When you're planning your Holiday parties, remember to center them around the true meaning of the season.  Start new traditions that will make the time spent with loved ones meaningful and, when you can, about helping others in need.   Making your Holiday celebrations more simple and focused on giving back will surely take the stress out of entertaining. 

Here are my helpful hints that will help you plan your parties with the true spirit of the season!

Make a Smaller Guest List

A party for 20 is much, much easier to plan (and clean up after!) than a party for 50.   Many times we end up inviting guests that we're anxious to impress, but those guests add more stress instead of fun.  Select your guests carefully and really think about those with whom you'll genuinely enjoy celebrating.

Prepare a Simple Menu

The Holidays are centered around fabulous, bountiful feasts, but that doesn't mean you have to make 10 recipes from scratch to have a fabulous menu.  When I'm entertaining, I make only 2-3 recipes that require hands on time.  For the rest of the menu, I fill the table with overflowing platters of fruit, cheeses, chocolate truffles, bakery bought desserts, gourmet olives and nuts.  The display is just as beautiful as it would be if I made everything myself.   

*For more ideas for Easy Appetizers, watch my My Well-Being video :

Host a Party that Helps Others

To fill your Holiday parties with the true spirit of the season, theme your events around supporting a charity.  Ask your guests to bring gifts or canned food to be donated, or host a caroling party and visit nursing homes and homeless shelters.  A great hands on way to help is to invite friends over to help make special holiday treats like pies and cookies that will be donated. 


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"Fill a zip-top bag without making a mess by folding open the top. The bag will sit open on the counter. When filled, unfold and zip. "
Staci A. — 22 days ago