Holiday Hostess Stress Tips
The holidays are a magical time filled with time with family & friends. For those who hosting the holidays, it can also mean a time for stress-induced panic and downright anxiety. Try some of our tips below to reduce your stress before hosting the holiday shindig of the year.
1. Plan a menu
Planning what you'll serve means you will be able to write down exactly what you need from the store. Jot down everything from apps to main dishes, desserts, and even beverages. When you get to the store, you'll be prepared.
Pro tip: If you know the layout of your store, write things down in order of how you walk it from the entrance to check out to make it easier.
2. Pre-cook as much as you can ahead of time
Oven space is sacred. Try cooking sides and preparing whatever you can the night before so all you have to do is heat it up before guests arrive. Things like casseroles, veggie or fruit trays, charcuterie boards and alike can all be prepped the night before. Put casseroles and sides in the oven just long enough to heat through.
3. Roombas are your best friend
If you don't already own one, maybe that should be at the top of your Christmas wishlist this year. There's no greater satisfaction than cooking or sitting down for the spare five minutes you have as something else cleans your floors. Seriously, it's worth the investment. These types of things not only save you time especially during the mad holiday rush but also your sanity. $200 is worth your sanity.
4. You're the only one who will notice the small details
Take it from someone who has OCD when it comes to cleaning. Your guests won't notice that piece of dog hair on the couch or that small little do-dad on the counter isn't supposed to be there. People will be too busy eating, drinking and having a good time to notice what you think they will. Unless you have a mom as I do... ;)
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Asking people to bring a dish to the party isn't tacky. It's actually a great way to get a wide variety of different tastes and dishes in one place. Plus, no one is expecting you to be Suzy-Freaking-Homemaker of the year and do everything yourself for more people than you care to have invited. A small dish, appetizer or even a dessert will help free up some much needed time for yourself to get more important stuff done.
6. Your pets don't want to be locked up in your room
Do you know what's worse than having anxiety about how your pet will react during a party? Listening to said pet freak out and cry the entire time your guests are at your house. Mental stimulation + physical activity for animals make them happy and exhausted. It's true what they say, "A tired dog is a happy dog." For dogs, take them on a nice, long walk to tire them out before guests arrive (or hire a dog walker to do this while you prep the home) and fill a Kong toy up with plain Greek yogurt, pure pumpkin puree and a little bit of canned food. Place it in the freezer wrapped in plastic food wrap and then voila! You have something to mentally tire your dog out for hours. Distracting them from hoards of people around them. If you're worried about dogs jumping on guests, keep a short traffic leash on your dog during the party so you can always have control of your dog and can easily hang on to them if needed. Don't transfer your stress on to your pets, they can sense it.
7. Post-party clean-up can wait
Trust me, you don't need to scrub the house the minute the last person leaves. No one will know and we aren't judging you. Soak the dishes, make piles of laundry, change into your comfy clothes and throw those tired feet up. You deserve it. The mess will still be there in the morning and you deserve to relax.
8. Don't forget to have fun
Don't sweat the small stuff and remember that the holidays aren't just for your guests, it's for you too! Make sure you remind yourself of this every once and a while so you can remember to take it all in and enjoy your company.