Try these for stress less entertaining!
First things first, make a list (check it twice!). File all your needs into specific categories to help keep everything organized such as: Food, drink, gifts, and decorations. The key is to stay as organized as possible.
The next step is to make sure you start early! Waiting until a few days before a big commitment like holiday entertaining is the biggest cause of all of that stress! Give yourself enough time to prepare for the days ahead. A week before the celebration pull out all of the recipes you intend to use, make sure your dinnerware is cleaned and ready to be set out, stock all of your bathrooms with extra hand soap, and make sure your space can accommodate all of your guests (seating, walk paths, standing room). By preparing for all of these things ahead of time you are saving yourself a big headache!
Get a head count! If all of your guests don’t RSVP (because for some reason RSVP seems to be a lost art these days) reach out to them. Contact your guests and don’t forget to ask if they are bringing anyone with them, remember that during the holidays people tend to bring dates/friends/extra family without a heads up. After you get a ballpark head count, always make room for a few extra people; it is always better to have more than enough than not enough. For example, if you have an expected party of 10 make room for 2 more, if you have an expected party of 30, make room for about 5 more.
Last but not least, prepare yourself for the things that could go wrong and don’t stress yourself out over the small details. As detailed oriented as you might be, party goers rarely remember the center pieces on the table or the details on the glassware. There are a few things that will make your party a hit, good food (and enough of it, can’t stress that enough!), the selection of beverages (alcoholic or not), and the entertainment (do you have old fashioned board games for everyone to play or did you crank up the music?).
Enjoy your holidays, stress less, and have a happy new year!