With Thanksgiving just a few short sleeps away, it's time to start planning all of the festive parties and get-togethers you want to throw this year! While hosting gatherings can be a blast, it can undoubtedly get pretty stressful if you aren’t prepared. Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of the most important things to keep in mind so you can enjoy a stress-free holiday season!
Start Shopping for Ingredients ASAP!
With hosting a holiday party comes A LOT of cooking and baking! Make sure you have an idea of what delicious foods you want to make ahead of time, and go out and buy the ingredients you need as soon as you can. Nothing is more stressful than going to the store a day or two before the big day, only to find that the ingredients you need have run out of stock. (Also, word on the street is that they’re increasing the prices of staple holiday ingredients as the weeks go on, so keep that in mind as well!)
2. Cook Ahead of Time (if possible)
This obviously isn’t applicable for all meals and desserts, but if you are able to get your ingredients early, consider getting a head start on cooking now and keeping everything you can in the freezer until the day of. Even though there will still be a lot of prepping for you to do, this can take a huge load off of your busy day. (Pro Tip: this especially works well with cookie dough and soups!)
3. Serve a Signature Holiday Cocktail
What’s a holiday party without a festive cocktail? Not only will your guests rave about it (especially if it’s a unique concoction!), but it’s also such a quick and easy way to add some holiday spice to your gathering. Pinterest has countless recipes to choose from; you will definitely find something for you and your guests there to enjoy!
4. Don’t Take On More Than You Can Handle
I saved the most important tip for last, because this tip alone can make or break your holiday season. Whether it’s going to gatherings, hosting parties, or agreeing to bring a side to Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you aren’t promising too many people too much. Even though it can be so easy to say yes to something that is weeks or months away, everything you agree to do for the holidays will most likely arise all at once. If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed during this time of year, ask your friends and family for help. You can ask your kids to help you clean the house, your partner to pick up a couple of the recipes you need to make, or your friend to help wrap gifts. And remember, it’s always okay to say no to tasks you’re not sure you’ll be able to squeeze into your schedule; taking care of your mental health comes first!
Incorporating these tips into your holiday plans will surely ease some of that end-of-the-year pressure. This is such a special time of year to celebrate family, friends the coziest season of all, and you deserve to do it stress-free! I hope you’ll try out these pointers this year; happy planning and Happy Holidays!