With Thanksgiving having come and gone, we are now officially into holiday party season. For many, a Christmas gathering may be the only time all year they see relatives. But holiday parties can become extravagant affairs that leave the host trying to catch his or her breath. Consider some ways to reduce stress this season when hosting a holiday party.
Nothing says you have to put on an entire party by yourself. Ask for volunteers. Generally, people are eager to help out, whether it’s bringing a dish to share, running errands or setting up the space beforehand. The holidays are about bringing people together. There’s no need to be alone in party planning.
Decoration in Moderation
Every neighborhood has That Guy who decks out his entire house in Christmas lights. You don’t have to be him. A single, stunning door wreath, for example, will have just as much impact but will take far less of your time and money.
Indoor décor can be embellished with classic holiday ornaments arranged in a variety of ways. They can be gathered into glass bowls and set up on tables, for example. A string of Christmas lights can add twinkle.
Skip the Dinner
The traditional image of Christmas gatherings involves everyone sitting around a heavily laden table. However, creating that heavily laden table is a lot of work, more work than many modern people have time for. There’s nothing wrong with going out to eat and then retiring back to the house for more socializing and gift exchanges.
Consider limiting what can be offered at home to snacks and drinks. Stock up on a variety of finger foods and spruce up the presentation to create a more festive mood.
If you’re offering alcohol, you may wish to offer a single signature drink, particularly one which is holiday themed. That saves you from having to buy a wide variety of liquors.
Box wines are also great for large gatherings. They take up far less space than individual bottles, are highly affordable, and come in a wide variety of vintages.
The Buffet Option
If you’re going to cook, serve it buffet style. When you have a lot of people sitting around a table, it can be difficult to constantly pass dishes back and forth. Instead, give the food its own table and everyone can approach it on their own when they’re wanting seconds. Also, put the food table in the middle of the room so people can circle it and avoid traffic jams.
Play to the buffet style when planning your meal. There’s a reason hams and turkeys are so popular for the holidays: you throw one thing in the oven and then cut and serve when it’s ready. You don’t want to be cooking a bunch of individual entrees.
Gifts in Bulk
Shopping for gifts can be a nightmare, particularly if your Christmas list is a long one. Consider finding a gift that’s appropriate for many people and buy in bulk, such as getting each relative a bottle of the same wine. Spruce up gifts with nice paper or even just a decorative bow or ribbons.
The holidays are a busy time of year. They’re meant to be a time for people coming together, but they can also bring a lot of stress. You have your guests in mind, but don’t forget yourself. Find ways of reducing your own stress this season and everyone will get more enjoyment from the holidays.