Last week it was all about how to stay stress free prior to the Christmas holidays.....but what about during the actual holidays, especially if you are hosting a dinner or cocktail party? Here are my top seven tricks for being a stress free and relaxed host, that simply enjoys the occasion and the guests:
- decide on the menu about a week or ten days prior to the actual occasion. Meanwhile there are a lot of vegetarians or vegans out there, so my suggestion is to check with your guests. Also an option that I always go for, is to have a only veggie dish - this way in case someone is vegetarian or vegan they can still enjoy the meal
- about two weeks prior check and make sure that you have the needed furniture - table is big enough for so and so many guests; there are enough chairs; you have enough plates, wine glasses, silver ware, etc. This will give you enough time to organize and get whatever you might be missing, so you don't have to stress out on the actual day about it
- make sure that you have all the presents wrapped and cards written two days prior. Also, make sure that you take advantage of wrapping service when you buy a present - this will save you a lot of time at home
- make a list of the groceries you will need 5 days to a week before the occasion, and get whatever possible two days prior.......for the ingredients that need to be fresh you can make a quick run to the grocery store the day before. I will defiantly not leave the whole grocery for the day prior or the actual day....usually there are a lot of people, and the lines are long, which results in more unnecessary stress
- try to prepare as much as possible the prior day - see whether you can prepare some of the ingredients / food (e.g. prepare rice, or cut the veggies, etc); if possible decorate the table the evening before; if possible arrange all the presents under the tree the day before
- the days prior the occasion, make sure you take 30 to 45min time for you each day - whether it will be for a workout, getting a massage, meditating, journaling, reading a book, taking a bath......whatever it might be, make sure that you take some time each day for you. On the day of the actual occasion, make sure that you are well rested, go out for a run or a walk, simply take some time to take care of yourself
- make sure you have a time plan for the actual day of the occasion - how long do you need for each meal, what needs to be done, when do you need to start in order for all to be ready when the guests arrive. Every year we host a family dinner on Christmas Eve, and every year a few days prior we make a (cooking) time plan......it works great!
Just like with anything, here it all comes down to planning and managing your time accordingly. Don't wait until the last second to do everything......make your plan and I am sure that you will be less stressed and you will enjoy much more your guests and the whole occasion! And one thing that you should never forget is always have a good music in the background to set the right mood!
Enjoy and stay healthy