Minimizing your stress level is the key to being a good hostess during the holidays. This means being prepared, making lists, and delegating jobs.
Last minute events and guests will happen...it is the holidays, afterall! The key is to anticipate these things happening, and be prepared with the events that you are hosting so that you aren't stressed when you get invitations to last minute celebrations, and can fit them into your busy hostess schedule.
Prep your appetizers ahead of time, set out platters the night before your gathering, and set up the bar the evening before as well.You will find the morning of party day so less stressful, and will be able to enjoy the festivities much easier!
I always make a honey-do list for my Husband, and now get our four year-old to pitch in with tidying toys and helping keep the house clean.
Delegate jobs like grocery shopping or trips to get wine, setting the table for a dinner party, doing the laundry. Order appetizers from a local caterer if you're serving a big group, and always always order the cake from a bakery!
Plan a Signature Drink
Instead of having a full bar that will need to be restocked and monitored throughout your entire event, do a punch and have a few bottles of alcohol for mix. This way, you have a non alcoholic and alcoholic option for everyone. Vodka, rum and rye are great options for the bar, and a simple punch recipe is below!
1 bottle Sprite
1 can of lemonade or limeade (prepared as per recipe on the can)
2 cups frozen berries (cranberries, strawberries or blueberries)
Clean-up the night before, and wake up to a relatively clean home! We usually put out recyclables and load the dishwasher to run overnight. When we wake up, it is usually just tidying up from the evening before, emptying and reloading the dishwasher, and sweeping the floors. Much more manageable, and less stress!