10 Tips To Minimize Holiday Stress

by Kimberly Hickok

We all know that the holidays are a time for enjoying friends and family – a time to focus on what’s really important in life. Sounds wonderful, right? For many of us, though, it’s hard not to get stressed out.

I use these 10 tips to minimize stress during the holidays. It all boils down to keeping it simple, having a plan and sticking with what you know works for you.

  1. Don’t drive yourself nuts making a bunch of appetizers. Make one or two appetizers. Supplement with cheese, cured meats, olives, etc. from the grocery store.
  2. Serve one signature cocktail that can be made in advance or that guests can easily make themselves.
  3. Say Yes when someone offers to bring something. If Aunt Mary likes to bake, let her bring the apple or pumpkin pie.
  4. Plan your menu in advance. This will minimize stress and you’ll be less apt to run to the store for last minute items that you might have forgotten.
  5. Before your dinner or party, do as much food prep as you can the night before. For example, I cut and measure onions and celery and put in plastic bags so all I have to do is saute them the next day for the stuffing.
  6. Set the table or the cocktail area the night before.
  7. Make extra ice in advance. Running out of ice is no fun.
  8. If you aren’t a confident cook, don’t try a new recipe. Stick with what you know works. Why give yourself extra pressure?
  9. Don’t go crazy cleaning. Put away clutter. Clean the bathroom sink, mirror and toilet. Light candles to set the mood.
  10. Relax! No one likes a stressed out hostess. It’s okay if things don’t go perfectly. Some of our best holiday stories – like the Thanksgiving Mark’s dad forgot to turn on the oven – are a result of things not going smoothly.
Being silly helps me relax. Here I am 'all wrapped up'.

Being silly helps me relax. Here I am ‘all wrapped up’.

What are your tips for keeping the holidays fun and stress free?

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1 comment

NorthCountry Rambler (@NCntryRambler) November 22, 2013 - 9:01 am

#11. You have obviously not tasted Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie. (We ask her to bring ice.)


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