Do you have a love-hate relationship with the holidays? On one hand, I adore getting together with friends and family and I’m also a huge fan of pie. On the other hand, I don’t have three weeks of my life to dedicate to cleaning, planning a menu and crafting adorable name tags for my tablescape. Who even has time to spend an hour developing a place setting that is coordinated enough to be referred to as a “tablescape”? Hats off to those people. When it’s my turn for hosting, I just pray the turkey is pretty enough to distract anyone from the somewhat conspicuous stain from last years gravy debacle. We’ve come to offer some stress free holiday tips so your time can be spent on what matters: quality time with your loved ones and hoping that no one spills their wine on your carpet.

  1. Fake a clean house: the most important thing is to clear all the counter space of clutter. A quick swipe with all purpose cleaner across your counters, and a vacuum about a half hour before guests arrive is enough to deter even your White Glove Club mother (hi, Mom. Love you!). Reserve the right to evict any guest who starts scrutinizing your baseboards, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
  2. Lighting is your best friend. Hit that dimmer switch, light a few candles or plug in a string light. Not only do you have instant mood-lighting, but you have actually prevented anyone from seeing any of the issues you were worried about before you vacuumed. You’ve also discouraged anyone from trying to take pictures of the food your serving, which is half the battle with young people today.
  3. Resist the urge to be Wonder Woman/Super Man. Yes you have a wonderful recipe for mashed potatoes, but try them next weekend and let your friend bring her side dish. Expert hosting tip: enlist the most reliable friends to help with appetizers, ask your friend who’s always late to bring the ice.
  4. Make yourself a drink. Set up a festive punch in your crockpot, or a pitcher of  seasonal sangria. A themed cocktail helps prevent overcrowding at the bar and is also a great conversation starter. You also save money on 6 different kinds of soda you will probably never finish.
  5. Cut corners. Stick that store bought cheese plate on a festive serving dish, drizzle some fresh honey & take a much needed break before your first guests arrive. Throw on some Dinner Soul streaming radio, or Holiday Hits, and set the remote aside. No involved appetizers or fussy playlists need apply. You’re officially ready to party!

And remember, no matter how crazy your holiday hosting gets, there are only two things a guest really remembers about a party: if they left hungry, and how hard they laughed. So enjoy! And a very Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!