With the start of November, we are officially in holiday season. In just a few weeks we’ll kick things off with Thanksgiving followed by holiday parties, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. There’s a good chance you’ll be hosting at least one of these holidays where family and friends will join you in your home.
There’s no question that planning a holiday get together can be stressful. From nailing down everyone’s travel schedules and finding enough sleeping accommodations to planning out meals and activities, even the most seasoned hosts and hostesses can find themselves caught up in the stress of holiday planning.
Let us help by offering some advice that just might alleviate some of this stress and allow you to fully enjoy these precious memories with your family and friends. Take a look!
Communicate early and often
Try to decide early what holiday you plan to host and let your family and friends know as soon as possible. This will help people commit to attending (or not) and give you a better idea of headcount. Also be sure to establish an easy way to communicate with your guests, like via email, in case someone has a special request or you need to make a change to the schedule. This will save you the stress of making a ton of phone calls at the last minute.
Ask everyone to lend a hand
With that open line of communication, also be sure to use this an as opportunity to ask guests to chip in. People are usually happy to bring a side dish, air mattress, their own towels or anything else to alleviate the stress on the host. Make specific requests and watch people step up to the plate to help!
Don’t be ashamed to go semi-homemade
Appetizers, side dishes and desserts can all be made much easier with the help of some premade products. Don’t be ashamed to that boxed brownie mix as the base to your fabulous cheesecake bites. You’ll save yourself time, money and stress – and your guests will never know the difference!
Not that your guests should be expecting a lavish dinner without having to lift a finger, but if your desire is to keep things simple with paper plates and napkins, simply let your guests know! If someone has a problem with that, let them step up to provide other accommodations. You’ll be surprised by how many people favor a causal and laid back holiday party over something formal.
Rent the extra items you need
In the spirit of making things as easy as possible, go the route of renting any event items you need. Extra chairs, table linens or warming chafers? An event rental company can help you out! Best of all, they organize everything you need for easy pick-up and when you’re done, you simply drop off the items without having to worry about washing or storing them for next year.
Stay focused on the meaning of the holiday
Finally and more importantly, keep stress levels low by keeping a focus on the meaning of the holiday and why you’re doing all this planning to begin with. It’s to bring your loved ones together and make happy memories. People won’t likely remember the food or how well they slept from year to year, but they will remember the fun times they shared with one another.
Are you hosting a family holiday this year? How do you plan to keep your stress levels low? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!