As the Christmas holiday season closes in, the age old question is posed, “To host or not to host?” If you are one of those people who answered this question with a “Heck yeah, I am hosting this year!”, you are in for a ton of work! below are some easy tips to reduce the stress level this Christmas season while hosting the holiday meal.
Prepping, baking, sauteing, blanching, frying, roasting, peeling, chopping, cleaning the house, serving, and hosting the holiday meal is a tremendous amount of work! Especially to do all in one day for someone without children. Yet for those with children, there is still another challenge to be faced, caring for the kiddies all while making the holiday meal.
So, why do so many families with young children choose to host the holiday meal?
Tradition is what it comes down to. Every family has different traditions that they want to pass down through the generations. What is it keeps these traditions going year after year, generation after generation?
Parents of young children do! Of course! The special memories these parents create for their children, just the way it was for them growing up are what make these traditions last.
So how can these parents overcome the stress of caring for small children, preparing for the holiday feast AND stay SANE while keeping the holiday traditions alive?
They have found ways to de-stress the holiday hosting gig. There are many articles out there on how to lower stress during the holidays. Articles can be found on reducing holiday stress overall, reducing holiday shopping stress, and reducing holiday hosting stress.
The NUMBER ONE tip is (and always will be, keep in mind the airplane crash directions “Put your own mask on first”) to remember to take time to ENJOY YOURSELF! Here are a few more tips that have been helpful for many, many, parents over the years.
- Prepare dishes ahead of time: This requires a bit of advanced planning of the menu. While deciding what to serve, consider building your menu around what you can make ahead of time. This includes pre-cutting vegetables, baking pies or breads, and anything else you can do before Christmas day.
- Get help!! Give the children small jobs to do like taking out the garbage or setting the table. Children LOVE helping out and doing “grown up” things!!
- Ask your spouse/partner to chip in as well. They can help with cooking and cleaning or they can take over all parental duties while you prepared the feast.
- Enjoy baking cookies for the holidays? Who doesn’t LOVE holiday cookies! But what if you are strapped for time? Solution: organize or join a cookie exchange with your neighbors. You each will make one type of cookie to exchange with each member of the exchange.
- If you are in a time crunch, you can order a holiday pie or cake from your favorite bakery. Alternatively, guests can help by bringing a dessert.
I hope these tips have been helpful! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!