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At Home for the Holidays: Your Guide to Hosting at Home with Ease

While the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be a little stressful—especially when you’re entertaining in your own space. Luckily, we have all the tips you need to become the host with the most and show your family there truly is no place like home for the holidays.

Make to-do lists.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be hard to keep track of all your tasks. That’s why making lists (and checking them twice!) can come in handy. Days or weeks before your seasonal celebration, make a list of everything you need to do—from picking out your outfit to curating the party playlist. The more details, the better!

Keep the menu simple.

When you’re cooking a special meal for your family, it’s best to stick with what you know. Only include your tried-and-true dishes on the menu. Save the stress and surprises that come with experimenting and trying new recipes for another time.

Prep, prep, prep!

The secret to success? Preparation. Pre-everything—pre-chop veggies and herbs, pre-measure ingredients, and pre-cook anything you can. Also, be sure to print out your recipes and keep this quick reference conversion chart close by:

Accept help.

As the host, you really can’t do it all—and you shouldn’t! If your crew offers to help, let them. Delegate basic tasks like emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash. When all hands are on deck, you’ll be able to enjoy the evening, too.

Set up early.

Setting up is a fun and easy task, but leaving it for the final hour will have you feeling stressed and dashing through the house. Plan to clean, decorate, and set the table at least one day in advance. Need some help? Here’s a cheat sheet for how to set your table the right way:

Get festive.

Ambiance is everything. Set the mood by lighting festive candles, playing holiday music, and infusing your home with the smells of the season. A simple way to do this is by making a stovetop simmer pot. Here’s one of our favorites:

Spread holiday cheers.

Create memories and keep traditions by offering a fun signature cocktail or mocktail. Take some pressure off and leave it out on the bar cart for easy access and self-serving. Don’t forget the napkins, hand sanitizer, and extra cups!

Plan activities.

Whether it’s decorating cookies or playing a game of cards, having activities planned to keep your family engaged and entertained is key. Here are some questions you can ask to get the conversations—and the good times—rolling.

1.     What’s your earliest holiday memory?

2.     What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

3.     What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

4.     What’s one thing that made you laugh this year?

5.     What are you most looking forward to next year?

Relax & have fun.

The holidays are all about making memories and spending time with the people you love. Remember to get out of the kitchen, take off your apron, and live in the moment. The dishes can wait!