Holiday season is fast approaching! Here are some tips to make things less stressful.
Take a deep breath and relax. Just kidding!! I hate that tip. HA! When hosting I do, however, get in the best mindset as possible. I pour a glass of wine for myself and take a sip here and there (or gulp - depends on how bad I burned something) to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun.
Have a designated room for coats and shoes (possibly wet or muddy). Some people use the ol bedroom but I don't realy like people in my room. I clear out my family's coat closet and hang up my guests' coat. For wet boots I have plenty of rugs/towels on hand at the door. As for storage, I use those plastic storage bins and set the boots in there.
Have a designated place or room for breastfeeding, to calm a toddler's meltdown, etc. I use Jaxon's room. It has a rocking chair, some books, etc. It's a long day for kiddos - lots of people, interrupted nap times, etc. so I find some quiet time with a parent is the best remedy. Although I don't care for people in my bedroom, I always make an exception if I see a stressed mama and a tired tot.
Set up a drink station. This is my favorite to plan. Put the station where you want your guests to gather and catch up. I have a small house so I always set up the station in the basement. It keeps people moving and prevents guests from hovering in the kitchen, where I'm usually at trying to finish things up. I have a table with a festive table cloth - beneath the table I have coolers filled with bottled water and pop. On top of the table I have cups, water pitcher with a few slices of cucumber in it, coffee bar (appropriate cups, stirrers, sugar and cream. We have a Keurig so I just move the whole thing to the drink station. But I really like Dunkin Donuts Box O' Joe) and a punch for the kiddos (1 liter of 50/50, a quart of softened sherbert, and a big can of pineapple juice. The juice makes it sweet so add to taste.). I'm always pleasantly surprised at how many adults I see drinking the punch.
Please note that if you are hosting a brunch, you can put a basket of goodies on the drink station like donuts, bagels, scones, muffins, etc.