Five Simple Tips on Staying SANE While Hosting the Holidays!

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So, you’ve decided to host a soiree during the holidays, congratulations!! Now, it’s time to prep yourself, and we’re not just talking about the food and décor. You need to prep your mind, body, and soul because hosting a holiday function can be a whirlwind of emotions, pressures, and expectations.  So before you deck the halls or order the turkey, read these simple tips for hosting the day and enjoying it too!

  1.  PLAN AHEAD… YOU’LL THANK YOURSELF!!  It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday details.  Did I decorate enough? Are there enough Christmas lights? No matter how small or large your holiday party will be, creating a game plan is key! Don’t let the decorations consume your life. Allow yourself permission to “let go” of certain decorating elements while spending that time checking to see if you have enough plates, seating, cutlery, or even refrigerator space for your upcoming celebration. Delegating responsibilities to guests and family members is also recommended. Chances are, they’ll want to contribute and would be happy to bring over extra plates, utensils, or prepared food to your party. You may even want to ask another family member (or two) if they would like to come over and help you prep.  I know plenty of hostesses that make preparation for the party —  a party on its own.  Allowing the helpers to sip cocktails and catch up, while preparing the meal.
  2. MANAGE EXPECTATIONS!! Visualize your party focusing on what type of Holiday celebration you are expecting this year. Will it be large and over the top? Or small, cozy, and conservative?  Once you decide on your vision, share it with others you will be inviting. Many people will be relieved to know that they don’t have to wear their jacket and tie to your Christmas dinner, because you are keeping it relaxed this year.  While others would be disappointed if they showed up in yoga pants to your posh Cocktail party. Realizing what you want and sharing your vision with guests can make the evening more relaxed, no matter the atmosphere. And keep the expectations to a minimum.
  3. KEEP IT REAL!!  Keeping your exceptions realistic, not obsessing over the details, and simply “letting go” can be life changing.  For some, this is easier said than done, but part of having a well executed evening is realizing that you are not in control (or should you be) of everything, and most importantly, that’s OK!  Uncle Willie may talk about politics and grandpa may make those “colorful” jokes everyone feels awkward hearing. But, that’s OK and that is what makes your family unique and special.
  4. PREP AHEAD!! Planning ahead is key, prepping ahead is a MUST!!! Creating dishes you can make one or two days before the party will not only save you time and energy, but a massive amount of stress.  Focus on salads with grains, which will absorb flavor over time and will actually taste better the day after they are prepared.  Make ahead dips, such as hummus and pesto, are perfect for holiday entertaining and can be prepared well in advance.
  5. WHATCH YOUR INTAKE!! Whether you like to splurge on alcohol or food, maintaining control over both, during the holidays, will contribute to your overall emotional and physical state. It’s easy to “let go” and reward yourself, because hey… it’s the holidays! But overindulging on both alcohol and food can be hazardous.  So, if you are hosting, fuel yourself throughout the day with healthy nutrition and consider limiting your alcohol consumption to stay emotionally connected and in control.