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Making Merry: 5 Stress-Free Holiday Hosting Tips

The holiday season is here, which means many of us are preparing to host gatherings with family and friends. While all this merry-making is fun, it can also cause a lot of stress. November through January┬áis a packed time for most of us, but that busyness doesn’t have to rob us of making memories with the people we love.

So how do you host the holidays with less stress? Read on below for our five tips!

1. Be Realistic
Another way to say this, set realistic expectations. No one is perfect, and neither are our homes! Take comfort in this fact and assume something won’t go according to plan during your big holiday gathering. Also, be honest with yourself about the amount of time you have and how much you can get done. Your guests are going to feel much more at ease if you enjoy them instead of trying to make that third fancy appetizer.

2. Always Delegate
Ask for help, early and often. It takes a village to throw a magical Christmas party or host that annual cookie baking get-together. People like feeling included, so let them into your plans. Recruit as much help as you need without shame, divvy up different food courses, meal prep, and cleanup jobs. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, and your family and friends will be glad to support you!

3. Play to Your Strengths
This goes for you and your home. Don’t have a big formal dining room? Then maybe hosting a traditional Christmas dinner isn’t the best idea. Plan an event that plays to you and your home’s strengths. Whether that’s a holiday movie night in your tricked out media room or a cozy brunch around the kitchen island, use your imagination and have fun.

4. Stock Up
Since the holiday season is all about spending time with people, it’s smart to stock your pantry and fridge with some go-to snacks, drinks, and treats. Just think, you’ll be much more willing to attend that impromptu party or have out of town friends over if you’ve already got munchies at the ready! It’s also always a good idea to have a nice hostess gift on-hand, like delicious chocolate or a great bottle of wine.

5. Consider Being Unconventional
Our last tip is to worry less about every tradition. Sure, there’s something to be said for carrying on family customs. But there’s also a time and a place for embracing change, especially if it frees you up to be with people. Tired of caroling or cookie baking? Then find something new and unconventional to try that you and your family would enjoy together!

We wish you all a joyful holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2019!