For many of us, the holidays mean opening our homes to family, friends, and guests. And while entertaining helps spread holiday cheer, it can also induce some unwanted stress. Here are a few ideas that can help keep the holidays happy.
- Advanced Food Preparation: We’re not talking about making complicated dishes. The idea here is to figure out certain items that you can prepare ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling at the last moment. Figure out a few things that can be prepared and then frozen that you can trot out at the last minute. You won’t be able to do it with everything, but preparing some things in advance can make your task easier.
- Create More Space: If your home is going to host more people than usual you may want to move out some furniture items temporarily. One thing that makes guests more comfortable is being able to move around easily. You can put everything back in place once household traffic returns to normal.
- Make a List and Check it (As often as You Need): Yes this is an obvious tip, but making a complete list that includes what you need to do, where you need to get supplies, and what has priority can really help keep your head from spinning. You’ll have plenty on your mind anyway, so take advantage of a little help from a list so you don’t have to keep everything in your head.
- Jingle Those Bells (But Keep It Under Control): A lot of people enjoy music over the holidays. It’s a good way to set the mood and make early-arrivers comfortable. But keep and eye (or an ear) on the volume. As conversation picks up, you may want to turn the music down (or off). What you really want to encourage is conversation.
- Add a Personal Touch: A simple gift for guests to take home with them will help preserve the memory of your time together. You might prepare a plate of holiday treats or a simple holiday decoration. The idea isn’t to “wow” your guests with your generosity, but to let them know you’re glad they came. Keep things simple but thoughtful.
The most important thing to remember is that your guests should be the center of attention. They may forget the fantastic “figgy pudding” you made, but they will remember the warmth and generosity of your home!