How to Entertain Without the Stress This Christmas Season

Hosting a holiday party always seems like a great idea — until you get down to the brass tacks of actually planning, organising, worrying about the atmosphere and (worst of all) cleaning up. To make things go a little more smoothly and worry-free this year, try out these tips:

Make grocery shopping easy and quick

When planning your menu, try to stick to standard, easy-to-find ingredients. That way, you will know where everything is in the store and won’t have to traipse around several places to get what you need.

Prepare as much as possible before your guests arrive

You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen once your guests arrive and the party starts. Wherever possible, choose to serve items that can be made ahead of time. The same goes for utensils, cutlery, glasses and all the other paraphernalia you’ll need. Have it all laid out and easy to access before your guests arrive. You should also check that you have enough of everything. This means that you won’t end up scrabbling in the drawer for a cake fork or reaching into the back of the cupboard for a tumbler.

Now is not the time for experimentation

Speaking of menu, don’t add stress by choosing a complicated recipe you’ve never made before. Instead, go for something that you know how to make and feel comfortable with.

Serve food in more than one place

Party guests tend to gather around the food, leaving one small area crowded and the rest of the room empty. Avoid this by setting up two or three places where guests can get their food from.

Cool drinks outside

If you are short on fridge space, at this time of year drinks left outside will usually keep nice and cool. Just leave them close to your back door or balcony door for easy access.