Happy November friends! Can you believe in just a few weeks we’re entering the holiday season again? This year has gone by in a flash!
Today I’m joining my friends Jennifer of Dimples & Tangles, Pam of Simple Details and Kris of Driven By Decor for our monthly roundup, and we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Christy and Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane to host with us this month! We just love these partners in blogging – not only are they both down to earth and so fun to follow, they share tons of great DIYs and decor projects too!
We’re so glad to have you both join us today!
This month we’re all sharing our favorite
TIPS TO TAME THE HOLIDAY CRAZY!
For me this subject is all about preparation! If there is one piece of advice for you to take away today, it’s to knock holiday to-dos off your list well in advance so you can actually enjoy your time with friends and family. Here are a few things to think about as Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching!
PLAN WHAT FOOD YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Wasabi Dipping Sauce
Forget frantically trying to figure out what to bring two hours before you have to be at a party – tame the crazy of the holiday season by looking through your favorite recipes and jotting down a short list of easy appetizers and desserts that you can make on the fly, and save the more involved recipes for a less hectic time of the year.
Consider making a Pinterest board devoted just to holiday food you’re thinking of making this year, so you have an online file to turn to when you’re pressed for time.
Here are a few of my quick and easy apps to get the wheels turning! The jalapeno popper dip has become my most requested app from the teenagers!
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart @ Food & Wine
Baked Onion Dip @ Food.com
Barefoot Contessa’s Crab Cakes @ Food Network
Beef Taquitos @ Family Fun
Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread @ SYL
Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps @ Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Double Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone @ Epicurious
Feta Cheese Squares @ Southern Living
Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms @ Evil Shenanigans
Jalapeno Popper Dip @ Annie’s Eats
Prosciutto Wrapped Appetizer Ideas (Shrimp/Asparagus/Pear/Avocado) @ SYL
Roast Beef with Rosemary Mayo @ Epicurious
Round Layered Party Sandwich @ Fabulous Foods
Salsa Baked Goat Cheese @ Epicurious
Sausage Cheese Cups @ Allrecipes
White Bean Dip @ SYL
Also check out this My Five Favorites post for tried and true holiday desserts that don’t require a million ingredients!
FIGURE OUT DISHES, PLATTERS, NAPKINS AND SERVING PIECES IN ADVANCE
This is a trick my sister-in-law Debbie taught me when I was first married. If you’re hosting a holiday, after you plan your menu, pull out your serving pieces and figure out your game plan. This is really helpful if you’re having a big crowd and need to buy or borrow extra dinner plates, flatware or glassware. Debbie and I have the same white plate set (this simple white one) so we’ve been able to share plates back and forth for the holidays many times through the years, but over the years I’ve also picked up extras that I keep stored in my basement for a crowd.
Sometimes I’ll put sticky notes on platters so Mark and I can just grab and go as appetizers come out of the oven or we’re about to serve dinner.
The idea is to not be madly looking through your cabinets for platters, plates and serving utensils when you’re trying to get dinner on the table!
PULL OUT YOUR SPECIAL THINGS (AND CLEAN THEM)
What’s the point of having precious china or passed down pieces from mom, grandma, or a great or great-great-grandmother if you never use them? No one is enjoying them if they’re stored away in a cabinet.
Remember when I cleaned all my mom’s silver plated flatware to surprise her, and then she gently told me she didn’t really like this set because it was kind of uncomfortable to hold and eat with? HA! I still use this super easy silver cleaning method to shine up silver or silver plated platters, bowls or flatware. I love to use pieces that have been in our families.
Related: see how I made over Mom’s silverware box here.
These stamped vintage spreaders would make a really cute gift for the holidays by the way!
Get your special pieces all set to go a week or two in advance so you can actually enjoy them this year.
STOCKPILE SUPPLIES FOR HOSTING OVERNIGHT GUESTS
One thing that I’m always rushing to do around the holidays is clean and prep for overnight guests at the last minute. This is out of necessity because we don’t have a guest room, so our overnight accommodations are one of the kids’ rooms that has been magically transformed from stinky sock and scattered clothes warehouse to a restful retreat for our traveling family. If you’re in the same boat, consider putting together a bin of guest items that you can pull out for a quick room makeover.
The Project Design series on how to make a beautiful bed
I have an allocated set of guest sheets and fluffy white towels in this bin, and I just picked up a couple new pillows that will go in here too. I also have a basket of toiletries and hand towels for the bathroom that I stash away just for guests. If you have kids then you know why it’s nice to have items hidden away that always stay clean and fresh!!
The idea here is that you will have everything you need to get your home ready for guests all ready to go and in one place, instead of racing to wash and dry sheets and get a bed made up when guests are about to arrive!
Visit yesterday’s Fall Into The Holidays post for more ways to make a bed super cozy and comfy.
IF YOU RUN OUT OF TIME, FORGET ABOUT ALL THE ABOVE, INVITE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OVER, ORDER TAKEOUT AND ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!
This is my most important tip to tame the holiday crazy!!!!
I cannot state this enough…….there comes a point where we, especially women who are also moms, wives, daughters and friends, just put too much on ourselves. We want to make the holidays special for everyone around us. We want to do 50 million projects we saw on blog tours and Pinterest. We want to make the holidays meaningful for our kids. We want to bake and make delicious foods that look amazing. We want to create the beautiful table with gorgeously arranged flowers and interesting and pretty place settings and pressed napkins from Anthropologie and place card menus.
But here’s the thing – if you’re a stressed out host because you’re trying to do too much, no one is going to enjoy being at your house – and doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
Make a list now and prioritize your holiday to-dos. Knock some big things off of it early on.
And then give yourself some grace and permission to not do all the things and turn your focus to making time with family and friends joyful!
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
For more great ideas on how to tame the holiday crazy hop over and visit these smart cookies! Special thanks to Amy & Christy for guest hosting with us today!
Don’t miss the Fall Into The Holidays series for more ideas on sprucing up your home with simple ideas and projects.
Wishing you a crazy-free holiday season my sweet friends!
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