Hosting family for Christmas?

Running around getting your house ready
and shopping for last minute gifts?

Feeling overwhelmed?

Take a breath. We have listed just a few of our favorite ways to help keep things calm and easy for entertaining at home! It’s our little holiday gift for you:

  1. Take a moment to accept that your holiday will go great no matter what. Being together with family and friends is the focus. Do this whenever you find yourself feeling a little stressed about hosting.
  2. Plan for coats. It may not be freezing this Christmas, but it’s always good to have a designated spot for coats. You can ask a family member as young as 5 to offer to take coats and lay them on a guest bed or wherever you designate.
  3. No need to get fancy with napkins and plates. Plain white paper plates are just fine! You can add a little sparkle to them by curling a few festive ribbons and laying them around the stack of plates and napkins. Or, wrap a ribbon tied in a bow around rolled paper napkins.
  4. Keep your oven on 200F. If you plan to serve warm items but don’t want to be tied to the kitchen timer, simply keep your oven on low, cover the platters with aluminum foil and they will stay at the perfect serving temperature so there’s no need to rush to the oven or burn anything and you’ll always have something warm in the oven to serve.
  5. Designate a photographer. Ask a teenager or young adult to take 20 photos during your get together. You can also set up a designated spot by your tree for posing as each person/couple/family arrives. Ask that photographer to put together a quick online album and email it to your guests a day or two after the party.
  6. Let others help you set up. Even if you have everything in its place, there seem to always be those last few thing that creep up – ice in the bucket, appetizers taken from the oven. Ask one capable family member or close friend to come by a little early to help you while you put out the last few things. Pour them a glass of wine and take 20 minutes together to do final setup details and chat. It will help you feel more relaxed as the party gets going!
  7. Let others help you clean up. It’s seems so polite to say, “No. I’ll take care of all that later!” when someone offers to help, but you’ve spent days or weeks getting ready for this event you’re hosting! Even if you are using your wedding china or like to load your own dishwasher just so, delegate tasks like collecting trash, clearing the table or rinsing plates that you may hand wash later. This will not only make guests feel useful, but will let you enjoy a few more precious moments of relaxation. Yes, it’s OK to sit and enjoy a glass of wine while your sister-in-law clears the table if she offers!

We wish you a happy holiday week and thank you for being a part of Talk of the Town!