By Annie P., Lombardo Homes Marketing Coordinator
One of the exciting parts of having a brand new home is getting to show off your new digs and host this year’s holiday celebration… until you, you know, think about the logistics of hosting the holidays. This seemed like a great idea when you closed on your home in August, right?
If you’ve been saddled with hosting a holiday this season (or “voluntold” … or, hey, maybe you actually volunteered!), follow this guide to make it through the season with maximum joy and minimum stress.
1) Give everyone a job. I’ll admit it – I’m pretty terrible at delegating, but hosting a holiday is a big deal and does not have to be done alone. Divide the cleaning and prep work between members of your family, and ask your guests to bring a side dish, dessert, or beverage to pass. This will save you from having to prepare everything yourself and from feeling pressured to recreate your mom’s out-of-this-world stuffing recipe. Seriously, it cannot be done. Ask for help.
2) Make a menu ahead of time. Creating a menu a few days before your big shopping trip will help you stay organized and wrap your head around what you’re cooking, what everyone else is bringing, and what you might be missing. Nothing like sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner and realizing you have no bread, right?
3) Make as much food ahead of time as you can. There’s always some sort of cleaning crisis that happens 15 minutes before your guests arrive. Give yourself extra time (and also fewer headaches) by prepping as much as possible in advance.
4) That being said, leave the last 30 minutes before the gathering for some “me” time. Change your clothes, make a cup of tea, and put your feet up. Preparing your home for a bombardment of hungry guests is hard work! Save yourself some time to breathe before the festivities begin so you can be an actual human and not a zombie during the party. (Plus, if a 15-minute-before cleaning crisis occurs, you still have 15 minutes to yourself.)
5) Light-colored beverages are your friends. Your great room is going to be filled with family, friends, and children, so something is bound to be spilled. If you can, try serving white wine, light beer, or a light-colored punch – anything that won’t immediately leave a stain on your new carpet. If red wine is a must-have at your party, plan ahead and stock up on cleaners that can help you fight stains after your guests leave.
6) Give yourself time to rest and recharge the next day. After a week of cleaning, three days of cooking, and a jam-packed evening of socializing, you deserve a day off. Sleep in. Spend the day in your pajamas. Eat way too much leftover pumpkin pie. You did the hard work – you deserve it!
7) Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is easier said than done, but taking a deep breath and rolling with the punches will make the holidays more enjoyable. Somebody is going to spill wine. Kids are going to consume too much sugar and turn into little maniacs. Your great aunt is going to ask too many questions about your life. It’s easy to let those things go to your head and make your right eye start to twitch, but at the end of the day, the happiness that comes from having a home filled with people you love is all that matters. Take a few moments to step back, look around, and soak it all in.