The Christmas season is in full swing, especially if you’re hosting! Keep your mind at ease, here are a few helpful tips to ensure you have a happy, harmonious, low-stress holiday.
Santa Has Elves. You need help, too.
If one of your guests offers to dry dishes while you wash, take them up on it! Aunt Bessie wants to bring her famous spice cake for Christmas dinner? Fantastic! That’s one less thing for you to do. Let go of the reins a bit and let people help you, and you’ll be free to enjoy time with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most people know how time consuming it can be to host holiday gatherings, and won’t mind helping out. Those of us who have Type-A tendencies want every aspect of the event to match a specific vision of holiday perfection and can find it hard to delegate, but try to relax and don’t stress the details. Everyone will have more fun that way!
Naughty and Nice Lists: Not All You Need
Keep a running list of things to do today, this week, and this month. Prioritizing tasks can give you focus and ensure that you don’t spend all night working on party favors for New Year’s Eve when Timmy needs Christmas cookies for his class party tomorrow. Plus, crossing off completed tasks can help you feel productive and on top of the game. It’s easy to think you can remember it all without making lists, but it’s a lot less likely things will slip through the cracks if you have it all written down, particularly for hosting big gatherings with lots of moving pieces.
Christmas Wasn’t Built In A Day
Keep tasks from sneaking up on you by preparing in advance as much as possible. Lots of desserts, casseroles, and soups freeze well, so instead of making them all the day of your get-together, prepare them in the weeks ahead and freeze them if needed. If you have multiple rounds of guests staying in your home, you can even prepare sets of clean sheets for house guests, so when one guest leaves, you can quickly replace the sheets and move onto your next task.
Be Ready For Surprise Gifting
You may be in a situation a guest arrives bearing gifts and you didn’t get anything for them. Awkward! Keep a few wrapped gifts waiting in the wings for just such an occasion. A bottle of wine, pretty throw blanket, box of gourmet chocolates, or a lovely, unique Christmas ornament would all be excellent options that would be appreciated by anyone. When hit with surprise generosity, simply excuse yourself for a moment, write the giver’s name on the blank gift tag already attached to one of the contingency gifts, and voila! Potentially embarrassing situation diffused.
Think Big Picture
When it seems like there are a million things to do before guests arrive and there’s no way to finish everything in time, take a step back and ask yourself if that thing you are worried about will matter in five years. Prioritize. If you enjoy creating beautiful centerpieces for your holiday party, then grab the hot glue gun! If decorating royal-icing cookies puts you in the holiday spirit, whip out the cookie cutters! The important thing is that you do what makes you and your family happy and appreciate one another this holiday season. Don’t worry about anything else, because the rest is just background music.
Keeping your sanity this holiday season is all about prioritizing. Your kids will remember the details that you make important, like snowman marshmallows for their Christmas-morning hot chocolate, decorating the tree, or watching Christmas movies in matching pajamas. Relax, let it go, and spend more time enjoying your friends and family and less time sweating the small stuff. There’s a good chance several items on the to-do list you made can be crossed off and nobody will even notice.
While we can’t guarantee a completely stress-free holiday, a little bit of advanced planning and organization will go a long way to help you ~sleigh~ the holidays. And remember in the end the holidays are about family. Happy Holidays!