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Top Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Hosting

Are you hosting a holiday party this year? Inviting friends and family into your home is a great way to show how much you love and appreciate them – but it can also be a stressful affair. Check out these top tips for being a relaxed host, and pulling off a party that will make everyone feel welcome.

  1. Prep, prep, prep. Prepare every dish in advance that you possibly can, and reserve as much time on the day of the event for all the little things that always pop up. Many desserts can be made weeks ahead and frozen. Much more can be done the day or two before, including vegetable chopping, sauce making, potato roasting and more.
  1. Fill in the blanks with some store-bought treats. Don’t feel like every single dish that you serve has to be made from scratch. No one will notice – or care if they do! For complex, time-consuming recipes that you really want to serve, consider buying instead of cooking. Save your time and energy for recipes that you truly enjoy making.
  1. Have a back-up plan for picky eaters. While it’s common courtesy for guests to inform their hosts of special dietary restrictions well in advance of the party, you may feel more comfortable with a few cans of vegan soup and gluten-free crackers in the pantry. That way, you’re prepared in case your niece decides to become a vegetarian the night before.
  1. Get a little help from your friends. Enlist allies – like your mom, aunt or sister – to gently but firmly keep people out of your hair when you’re in the middle of cooking and prep. Well-meaning guests will no doubt pop into your kitchen to see if you need help, ask about your new job, nibble on the green bean casserole, etc. etc. It can be stressful to make conversation when you’re elbows-deep in a soufflé. Your allies can intercept on your behalf. Also know that some guests will insist on helping. So before the party starts, think of a few easy tasks that your allies can dole out: filling glasses with ice, setting the table, or checking on the children.
  1. Children – they may be small, but don’t overlook the effect that they can have on your holiday dinner. It will be well worth it to spend $10 at a local dollar store and stock up on a small variety of games and toys. Creative supplies can go a long way, like crayons, craft kids and building blocks.
  1. Skip family-style service and opt for the buffet line. Even the biggest dining table gets cramped with a holiday feast piled on it – and you’ll spend so long passing everything around, it might be cold before you can all dig in. Instead, set the dishes out on your kitchen counters. Let everyone grab a plate, serve themselves, and sit down.
  1. Take a deep breath. Your mood will set the tone for the party, so make it your goal to be cheerful, relax and welcoming.

Celebrate the holidays – and every day – in a brand new home at Villa Medici. Please contact us today to learn more!