Welcoming your friends and family into your home can be one of the most anticipated events of the holidays. Whether you have family visiting from out of town, or if you’re hosting Christmas dinner this year, the fact that your home is the gathering place for your loved ones is a special privilege.
However, all the stress from cooking, cleaning, and social duties of hosting may get in the way of enjoying the moments and memories with your guests. Following these tips may help you achieve balance and celebrate the joy of your holiday gathering.
Prepare in Advance
Get ahead so you don’t feel like you are falling behind. Do you wait until the last minute to do your shopping, or prepare your home for guests? Of course, doing anything last-minute is a tried and true recipe for anxiety or stress. By making a list of what you need from the store early, you may be able to beat the holiday crowd — if you wait until the day before Christmas, you are giving yourself the gift of a stress filled shopping trip. The best cure for situational stress is preparation. You can do it!
Promising more than you are able to deliver will run you ragged. While it is sometimes easier to say ‘Yes’ than to risk confrontation, Remember, it is okay to say ‘No.’ If you lack space or patience to host guests from out of town, or if you are uncomfortable cooking a complicated meal, it’s okay to say ‘No.’ Your family most likely loves you as much as you love them, and will understand. Ultimately, you will be more relaxed, leading to happier holidays.
Once you have prepared and decided that you can handle hosting your loved ones, it’s time to distribute the work to those willing to help out. Relying only on yourself to get everything done will make it difficult to enjoy the experience. Ahead of time, take down a list of everything you need to accomplish, and try to delegate at least 50% of the tasks to family members or outside sources. If you have limited help, or limited space, this is where prioritization and balance really come to the rescue.
If you normally find yourself trapped in the kitchen during your holiday hosting, consider catering a meal for your guests to enjoy. Sure, your grandmother’s family pie recipe is better, but is a ready-to-bake pie from the store good enough? Is the catered green bean casserole better than your old standard? Even outsourcing a portion of the kitchen tasks can give you room to breathe, and even enjoy the tasks you’ve reserved for yourself to brag about. Everyone will likely appreciate mixing up your typical holiday cuisine, and you will gain quality time spent with your friends and family instead of stressing in the kitchen. Joy to the host!
What Are Your Tips?
If you have tried these, or if you have your own tips that we should know about, please leave it in a comment below! We would love to hear from you.