5 Tips For Hosting A Stress-Free Holiday Gathering

Rosemary Sugar Cookies

Christmas for us, is a day of relaxation to be enjoyed with family and friends. Each year, we get together with family for a calm day of exchanging gifts, playing games, and watching movies. The menu is always simple and there’s always just enough food for everyone without tons of leftovers. I’ll admit that home magazines and Pinterest have given me tons of inspiration for hosting Christmas at our home, but I know trying to do it all will result in stress. After all, we just hosted Thanksgiving (with the help of my mom) and I’m not trying to do it all over again help or no help. So this year, we are keeping it simple – as it should be. Here are 5 tips for hosting a stress-free holiday gathering.

Simplify The Menu
You just got done preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Do you really want to do it all over again? I know I don’t! On Christmas we enjoy a smaller dinner. No huge turkey or ham, but simple roasted hens and a few of our favorite comfort foods and a salad. This year, I won’t be baking, instead I’ll be picking up a few store bought treats and Greg will be making homemade eggnog.

Assign Chores
The kitchen can become a disaster even when preparing the simplest of meals. Give each family member a job and clean as you go. The biggest problem that we have are dishes. Greg keeps the dishwasher loaded to avoid mountains of dishes. I wipe and clean up spills and when it’s all done, I attempt to clean the floor. There have been plenty of times where guests arrived while I was cleaning the floor. The key is to get it clean enough. Family will understand. Some day, I’ll assign that job to Jayden.

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Play Music
Music makes everything better. Load up your holiday playlist and get crackin’! Two Christmases ago, I treated myself to a Squeezebox. It was one of my best purchases ever. I keep it in the kitchen and it helps speed up long tasks. Streaming music also makes for fun family time. Whenever I’m listening to music, Jayden isn’t too far away boogying down.

Thrift Dinnerware
No fine China? Go thrifting! You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find! I love browsing thrift stores for dishes. I often find vintage gems that remind me of my childhood. I am not that old, but the pieces I remember date back to before I was born. Those quality pieces make the holidays special… the unique and memorable mix matchy-ness.

Quirky Decor On The Cheap
Decorate with items you already have around the house. Set out mason jars filled with mini Christmas lights or bowls of extra ornaments. Printables are also an inexpensive way to add holiday cheer. Sites like Hostess with the Mostess offer free printables that you can frame and laminate to be used each holiday season.

Christmas in a jar

Create memories and wow your guests without slaving during the process!

Breville Giveaway

Breville has released new, time saving products such as the Smart Oven, just in time for the holidays! Take the guess work our of holiday cooking with the Smart Oven, the oven that does the thinking for you. Check out their website for more information on this product and other great gift ideas. 

And don’t forget to reply below for two chances to win your choice of amazing Breville products either for yourself or as a gift to a loved one: YouBrew, Tea Maker and Smart Oven products ($250 ARV)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Breville. The opinions and text are all mine.
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Sheena Tatum

is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, wife, boy mom, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper. In the midst of motherhood, wifedom, and managing a growing collection of digital projects, she somehow manages to find zen in being a quirky, introverted, lil’ lady.

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1 Comment

  • Reply December 20, 2012

    Eileen Burke

    Have everything organized and ready to go before guests arrive from big things like dishes to little things like serving spoons and condiments.

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