The dos and don’ts of easy holiday entertaining

Holiday celebrations are meant to be joyful, but too often for the hosts they are more of a headache than a heartfelt gathering. Get the dos and don’ts of holiday entertaining here!

Stressed woman planning holiday party

Too often busy women place too much pressure on themselves to entertain like Martha Stewart, and forget to spend time enjoying time with their loved ones. These do’s and don’ts of easy holiday entertaining can help you enjoy more spontaneous gatherings with the best gifts of all: your family and friends.

1DO keep your decor simple, yet festive

Fill a bowl with colorful ornaments and use it as a centerpiece. String your holiday cards over the fireplace.

2DON’T go crazy in the kitchen

Make one or two of your signature recipes, and purchase the rest pre-made from the deli or a local restaurant.

3DO use candles to create atmosphere

Clusters of candles can create a dramatic effect with little effort.

4DON’T chase the kids around all night

Consider hiring a sitter to keep the children entertained while the adults relax.

5DO keep an emergency entertainment kit handy for last-minute guests.

Include frozen canapes, a bottle each of wine and sparkling cider, hard cheeses, wheat crackers, nuts and a frozen pie.

6DON’T puzzle for hours over music

Many cable providers offer televised music stations that include a “Sounds of the Season” offering. iTunes radio has great offerings, too.

7DO keep your outfit simple

Fussing over your clothes will only cause more stress. A great-fitting, simple dress with a dramatic necklace is stunning and fuss-free.

8DON’T get kitchy with holiday-wear

Unless you are having an “Ugly Sweater Party”, no one wants to see your reindeer sweater or ornament earrings.

9DO display your holiday cards

String them over the mantle or a doorway. Guests will recognize their own and feel good that you chose to put it out instead of tossing it out.

10DON’T do more than you know how to do well

The day of your party is not the time to experiment. Offering the familiar beautifully is a much better option than offering something new but average.

11DO skip the flowers

You never know who might be allergic, plus they are expensive and many are toxic to pets.

12DON’T invite more guests than you can comfortably enjoy

Not only do you deserve to spend time with each guest, but your guests deserve to spend time with you — and have someplace to sit!

13DO relax and enjoy

The point of holiday gatherings is to spend time with your loved ones. Spending the evening slaving over a hot stove and cleaning up spills will make you wonder why you bothered in the first place.

Holiday how-to

How to display holiday cards

Do you love the annual flurry of holiday greetings, but not the tumbling mess it creates on the mantel? This creative solution is a fun and easy way to show off your cards.

Get more holiday survival tips

10 Tips to survive the holidays
7 shopping tips to reduce holiday stress
5 Ways to survive the holidays with your kids


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