Skip to Content

My Five Favorite Tips To Tame The Holiday Crazy

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with wasabi dipping sauce makes a simple and delicious holiday appetizer.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!Fall tour by Amy at 11 Magnolia Lane.

Amy’s Fall Tour

Summer home tour by Christy of 11 Magnolia Lane.

Christy’s Summer Tour

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 makes a simple and delicious holiday appetizer.

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

Planning holiday entertaining in advance will alleviate a lot of the last minute stress!

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.

A quick and easy way to clean silver and silver plate.

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.

How to make a beautiful, comfortable bed.

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!!

Fresh pillows and towels for holiday guests.

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?

So prepare.

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.

Maya Angelou


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!

11 Magnolia Lane

Dimples & Tangles

Simple Details 

Driven By Decor 


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!


If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to join my mailing list for more creative tutorials, design ideas and tips and tricks for the home delivered right to your inbox!



Fall Into The Holidays | The Bedroom
← Previous
The Next Room Makeover - A Rugged & Refined Teen Boy's Room
Next →

Debbie - Mountain Mama

Friday 3rd of November 2017

Great tips, Lisa!! I'm fortunate to have a dedicated guest room although I have to say it often becomes a dumping ground! When you don't know where to put something, put it in the guest room! I just recaptured it and gave it a good cleaning this past weekend, which feels fabulous. It's ready for guests again....at least for now!

Lisa

Friday 3rd of November 2017

How awesome that you have that room.....even if it's a place to stash things in between guests. I use the top of my washer and dryer for that purpose, the mad clean up when people are coming over :)

Colleen

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

I love getting my special dinnerware out and doing all the washing and polishing. A few years ago, I bought a huge set of vintage china and a set of silverplate flatware on Ebay. I'm not married so I never got that kind of thing as wedding presents but I wanted to be able to set a fancy table and I wanted to be able to invite a lot of people to dinner. My china has 12 placesettings with lots of extras and my flatware has at least as much. I think I paid less than $200 for both, including shipping! There are so many pretty patterns available...or mix and match. I urge anyone who would like some glitzy dinnerware (that you don't even need to be especially careful with...this isn't Grandma's Spode!), to check out the listings.

Lisa

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Colleen I absolutely love mix-and-match place settings! I'd love to see a picture of your table set with all your pretty things. I waffle between wanting to own less and wanting to change up my table every single time. I'll have to look into Ebay for vintage china! Thanks for that great tip!

Riena

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Just on time! Thank you for the tips! Planning the food and recipes is so fun!

Lisa

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

The food part is my favorite too! My college aged son's friends have special requests when they come over....I love feeding them! :)

Christy @ 11 Magnolia Lane

Wednesday 1st of November 2017

Lisa--that guest bin idea is genius--I'm doing that today!! And number five...that really speaks to my heart. Thanks for such practical and real tips. Thank you, too, for letting us join in and for all the lovely things you said about us! XO, Christy

Lisa

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Christy it was so fun to host with you amazing ladies! Huge 11 Magnolia Lane fans around here!!! :)

Vel

Wednesday 1st of November 2017

Thanks for sharing your fab tips Lisa and all those wonderful appetizers!

Lisa

Wednesday 1st of November 2017

It's always great to have a go-to list of tried and true recipes isn't it?