Strategies For Stressless Holiday Entertaining

Strategies For Stressless Holiday Entertaining 1

Strategies For Stressless Holiday Entertaining
Stressless entertaining is​ fast becoming an​ oxymoron .​
With parties and social gatherings growing more and more elaborate,​ with everyone trying to​ outdo each other,​ hosting a​ get-together is​ a​ difficult task to​ undertake any time of​ year .​
Throw in​ some holiday chaos and it's downright nerve-wracking.
Maybe in​ our eagerness to​ impress and bedazzle our guests,​ we're missing the​ point entirely .​
Warm,​ relaxing,​ convivial social interaction should be our main concern when rolling out the​ welcome mat .​
Here are some strategies,​ excerpted from my new book 400 Ways to​ Stop Stress Now...and Forever!,​ that will help you​ keep your eye on​ that objective.
Have small intimate get-togethers.
Big parties are expensive,​ time-consuming and a​ heck of​ a​ lot of​ work .​
Even if​ you’re lucky enough to​ talk with everyone,​ it​ may only amount to​ brief,​ cursory snippets of​ conversation .​
a​ big bash can be fun,​ sure,​ if​ you’re not the​ one throwing it .​
Smaller parties are easier to​ arrange,​ less work,​ less expensive,​ and leave lots of​ time to​ enjoy your guests,​ who feel more special,​ too .​
Entertain fewer people...more often.
Keep the​ menu simple.
There's no need to​ overwhelm your guests with more choices than necessary .​
An hors d' oeuvre,​ a​ main dish,​ a​ couple of​ side dishes,​ and dessert is​ plenty .​
It will save you​ time and money,​ and make entertaining easy enough that you'll want to​ do it​ more often .​
Overdoing it​ also unfairly raises the​ stakes for guests who want to​ reciprocate .​
Focus on​ the​ quality of​ what you​ serve,​ not the​ quantity,​ and on​ making your visitors feel relaxed and comfortable .​
Your parties can't help but turn out special.
Expect people to​ cancel out on​ you.
Last-minute dropouts and no-shows can be disappointing -- especially when you've gone to​ a​ lot of​ trouble .​
Blame it​ on​ our over-scheduled times,​ a​ general slackening of​ social responsibility,​ whatever .​
But this,​ unfortunately,​ is​ the​ way things are .​
So be ready for it .​
If you're planning an​ event or​ activity involving several people,​ expect one or​ more will almost certainly cancel .​
Invite or​ recruit extra people to​ make up for the​ inevitable loss .​
And if​ everyone does show up (slim chance),​ you'll enjoy an​ unanticipated bonus.
Invite someone over for coffee.
Or tea,​ or​ a​ glass of​ wine,​ or​ a​ beer,​ if​ that's your preference .​
Somehow this simple,​ casual way to​ connect with others during the​ holiday season has lost ground to​ more elaborate and expensive forms of​ entertaining .​
But informal drop-by visits with friends and neighbors is​ a​ great way to​ catch up,​ share experiences,​ vent concerns,​ and give yourself a​ needed break from the​ rat race .​
Pure,​ uplifting social interaction…without all the​ fuss .​
Try it.
Entertaining is​ supposed to​ be fun,​ remember?
When you​ throw a​ dinner party or​ host a​ gathering,​ it's not an​ audition,​ you're not on​ trial and your guests aren't judges and juries .​
Yet that's how you​ might see it​ -- something to​ fret about,​ even dread .​
Which,​ if​ you're worried things won't go well,​ will all but assure it .​
Remember,​ it's not about you​ .​
It's about inviting people into your home and making them feel welcome and comfortable .​
If you're tense and unsure,​ that's what they'll pick up on​ .​
(How many times have you​ attended a​ tautly wound event and had a​ perfectly lousy time?) So make it​ fun .​
Be casual,​ gracious,​ spontaneous .​
You'll be a​ hit,​ and so will your party.

Strategies For Stressless Holiday Entertaining

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