Thursday, November 15, 2012

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

After this weekend we will officially be in the Holiday Season. This is both a joyful and overwhelming time of year. It can get scary. Waking up at 4am to cook a turkey and then looking alive at midnight for black Friday sales (that are starting way too early... or late?). But it's okay we've got your back, and your sides! Here's our top five tips for surviving the holiday season without pulling all of your hair out.

 Keep Gatherings Small and Intimate - Get together with a few of your closest friends or relatives for the holidays. Choose to throw the big blowout parties at another time of the year, when you and your guests will have fewer commitments competing for your precious time.

 Be Ready to Attend Holiday Parties - Buy a small stock of hostess gifts in advance so you don't have to run around the day of each party you attend trying to find a gift amongst the masses. It's also helpful if you have a unannounced guest. Several jars of locally made preserves are good to have on hand, as are beautifully wrapped soaps and bottles of wine.

 Take Advantage of Timesavers - Order our creamy garlic mashed potatoes or the bakery’s pumpkin pie to complement your main course. "Adeline Rosemire, author of Christmas Shortcuts, once went one step further and hosted a holiday dinner in which everything—the appetizers, smoked turkey, bread and desserts—had been ordered from gourmet food catalogs and required little or no preparation" - WomansDay
 Stock the Bar - Take inventory of liquor-cabinet staples, including tonic water and other mixers, and restock those that are running low. Also chill a few bottles of Champagne, you never know when holiday guests may decide to drop in!
 Plan Ahead for your Holiday Party - Trying to get everything done at the last minute with guests knocking at your door can be very stressful.  If your cooking your holiday dinner yourself think about what you can prepare in advance and make a checklist of all the ingredients you need. When it comes time to shop, avoid the evening-weekday rush and weekend crowds. The day of, set the table in the morning so that unforeseen events -- a late meeting, a last-minute stop at the wine seller -- don't slow things down. Right before your guests arrive, dim the lights, light some candles, and pour yourself a glass of wine. 
And you can always make things easier by having it catered! 
Because after taking care of everyone else all day, it's nice to have someone take care of you.