Stress is always at an all-time-high over the holidays, but what can we do when hosting friends and family at home – both beforehand and during – to tamper that stress and prove that it’s still the most wonderful time of the year?
Prep and plan ahead
Instead of heaping all of your cooking and baking duties on yourself the day of your gathering, prep and cook as much as possible in the days leading up to the event, store dishes in the freezer or fridge ahead of time, and then serve and reheat when your guests arrive. Additional pre-party prep to save time in the long run could include stocking up on toilet paper in the guest bathroom and queuing up holiday music on your streaming service to set the mood.
Make a well-rounded menu
There’s no need to make everything from scratch. While it’s certainly impressive to bake a homemade apple pie with a freshly rolled out pie crust or homemade hors d’oeuvres, it’s OK to include ready-made goodies on your menu, too. It’s also a good idea to have a well-balanced menu of specialty foods and crowd pleasers, such as a charcuterie board with gourmet meets and cheeses, along with basics, like chips and dip or a veggie platter.
Do dish duty
Do yourself a favor and empty the dishwasher and sink before the party, so you can eat and socialize with your guests while they’re at your home and it’s easier cleanup for you after the party.
Put the pets away
Stifle your stress and others who may not be pet lovers like you are by setting aside a comfy, closed-off room in the house with toys, treats, and water for your fur babies before guests arrive.
No, not like that. But make trash cans or bags (and recycling bins) accessible to your guests to save you some time from collecting trash off tables and countertops when you’re cleaning up after the party.
If a friend or family member kindly asks you if they can help in some way, give them a small task. Which will allow you to …
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, fix a plate of food for yourself, raise a glass or two to toast a drink with friends, and mix, mingle, and be merry with your guests instead of hiding in the kitchen all night.
If you’re home for the holidays and you’d like more info on a free consultation, contact our For What It’s Worth team here.