Survive Hosting the Holidays

Survive Hosting the Holidays

I LOVE the holiday season.  You can often find me fa-la-la-laing as early as early as September, and there’s nothing that brings me more joy than watching Bing Crosby tap dance with Danny friggin’ Kaye (name that movie).  But when it comes to hosting the holidays, I get stressed, so I’ve come up with a way to help me Survive Hosting the Holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my family here.  But when you compile the fact that I have a ton of food to prepare, two littles running around, my daughter’s first birthday and an overseas move to coordinate, you can quickly see why hosting the holidays can bring on a boatload of stress!

However, if you have a game plan in mind, you can easily Survive Hosting the Holidays with your sanity intact!

1.)  Make a menu ahead of time.

When I have guests coming to stay, I make menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day of their stay.  While the process of writing a menu can be tedious, it takes the stress off of me because I know exactly what I’m serving each day while people are here, even if the meal is as simple as sandwiches and fruit.

When there’s an event such as Thanksgiving or a baptism, I make the menu as early as a month ahead of time so I have plenty of time to prep prior to everyone’s arrival.  While it might seem ridiculous, have meals planned out a head of time has saved me from many a gray hair!

Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring dishes, especially if their local.  I’ve never had a guest say no to bringing a dish to share!

2.)  Be up front with your expectations

Just because guests are visiting, doesn’t mean our routine goes out the window.  Sure, when we do special trips like Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, the kids will go to bed later than normal and that’s fine.  But while we have guests, nap time and bedtime routines are kept, mostly because I don’t feel like dealing with the hot mess of my children being off their schedule after everyone leaves.

So when plans are made, I’m very up front with the fact that some thought needs to be given to my children’s schedule that we have in place.

3.)  Have a Plan of the Day

My husband is in the military, and they always have a posted Plan of the Day to help things run smoothly.  So we take the same concept and apply it when family comes to town.  I make sure to have a schedule for each day of the visit and share it ahead of time so everyone knows what to pack and can plan accordingly.

Sometimes the Plan of the Day is to just take it easy at our home or go to the beach.  Sometimes it’s more adventurous, like going to the airshow or visiting Colonial Williamsburg.

But either way, creating a Plan of the Day when you have visitors is an easy way to keep an organized schedule AND your sanity.

4.)  Don’t be afraid to accept help

Allow your guests to load your dishwasher or fold your laundry.  Sure, Emily Post might roll over in her grave, but if your guests helping you tackle mundane tasks around your home allows you to focus on cooking that fantastic Christmas Eve dinner or heck, just sit down on the couch with a glass of wine and nothing to do for five minutes, then let them.

This will help you relax just a bit and not be bitter about the fact that everyone else is having fun while you’re up on your feet doing a thousand things instead of enjoying the day.

5.)  Have alcohol on hand

Need I say more?

Are you hosting guests for the Holidays this year?  What are some tips you have to Survive Hosting the Holidays?


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