How to enjoy Christmas without the stress

Tuesday 03rd Dec 2019 Posted by Jo Smithers

It’s no secret that things can get overwhelming around the Christmas season. The more strain you put on yourself, your family and your wallet, the less room you’ll have to truly enjoy the magic of the season. This time of the year should be joyful and filled with good memories. Don’t cave in to the holiday stress. Here are our secrets to keep the merry in Christmas and have a slow holiday you can enjoy.

5 last minute tricks to get your home ready for Christmas guests

Friends and family are stopping by and you’re in panic mode to pull your house together. With everything you’ve got going on in the kitchen, who has time to deep-clean the house? There are some easy steps you can pull to trick your friends or family into thinking your home is in tip top shape.

Just follow these 5 little tricks to ensure your guests feel relaxed and comfortable in your home.

 

1. Tidy Up
We’re not talking a deep clean, but put away clutter, dust the major surfaces, fluff the living room pillows. Focus on where your guests will be and quickly run the vacuum cleaner over these areas.

Extra tip: If you only have time to clean one room in your house, make it the bathroom. While most guests can handle a little dust on the coffee table, a dirty bathroom is unpleasant. Scrub and wipe down the toilet and sink, wipe the mirror, re-stock the toilet paper, empty the trash can, put out a fresh hand towel, and last but not least light a candle before your guests arrive.

2. Bring in some flowers
If you have a planned event, then bring some fresh flowers home one or two days before. For spontaneous guest visits, you can cut a single fern frond from the yard and put it in a small vase. Another great option is to take a small potted plant from your yard (for example a herb) and pop it into a nice pot. Forage your yard, we bet you will find something just right.

3. Clear a place for coats and bags. 
If you have a coat rack in your entryway, empty it to make room for your guests’ belongings. Or, make up the bed in your bedroom or a guest bedroom for everyone to drop their coat and bag.

4. Set your lightning up and light a candle
Great lighting is the most impactful thing you can do to create a comfortable feeling in your home. Use soft lamp lighting instead of bright dim lights. No room in the house should be a dark space, turn on some lights in the hallway or the bathrooms, which makes everything feel warm and cosy.

Lighting a candle is a win in two ways. They give off pretty, soft lighting, and they’ll make your house smell nice.

Another great way to spiff up your lighting during the day? Pull back curtains, raise your blinds, or even open a window. Fresh air and plenty of natural sunlight are far more welcoming than a dark space. Embrace your home’s natural lighting. 

5. Play Some Music
A little background music creates a welcoming vibe, and your house will feel festive and ready for a party. Start creating a playlist on your phone whenever you have some spare time and play it through a bluetooth speaker. It’s easy, and requires no running around. 

What are your go-to steps to freshen up the house before guests come over?
Anything we’ve forgotten?
  Share with us in the comments.

How to prepare a bar for your christmas party

Hosting holiday parties is a great way to get together with friends and family during this festive time of year, but often the to-do list for party prep can feel a million miles long. Plus, once your guests have arrived, you don’t want to worry about a stocked bar or if the trays are filled.

Make things easier on yourself by setting up your bar in advance. That way, your only task on the day off is to have fun while everyone is enjoying themselves.

 

1. Pick Your Poison
Start by deciding what kind of drinks you want to serve. Do you want to keep it simple with wine and beer or will you be making a signature cocktail? Maybe you even prefer a full bar so guests can make their favourite cocktail?

Each option has its pros and cons and requires different approaches to stocking the bar.

2. Stock Up
No matter what types of drinks you’ll be serving, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies. For wine and beer, your beer options will most likely be in cans or bottles, but you’ll need plenty of glasses for wine. And don’t forget a bottle opener and corkscrew!

If you’ll be serving a full bar, you’ll want to have jiggers, stirrers, an ice bucket, and shakers, plus plenty of mixers. Everyone makes their favorite cocktail a little differently, so be sure you have everything they’ll need. You don’t want them to have to hunt you down in the middle of the party to find a strainer! And don’t forget lemons and limes.

3. Signature or bubbly style
We love how festive a signature cocktail feels, no matter what type of party you’re throwing! Not only are they a fun way for guests to get in the spirit, but they’re easy to make and don’t require a ton of work. Just mix up your favorite drink (some drinks you can even make a day in advance), pour it in a punch bowl, and set out plenty of glassware. 

We love the own created Christmas Cocktail by Chyka Keebaugh — a Gin classic with fresh ingredients and a greenish look. Here’s her recipe.

BUT: Nothing says ‘party’ like a bottle of champagne, so if you don’t feel like mixing a signature cocktail, a few bottles of sparkling wine can bring that same festive feel. You don’t even need a corkscrew!

4. Alcohol Free Options
While we’re on the topic of non-alcoholic beverages, be sure you have plenty of options for any friends or family members who don’t drink. You certainly don’t want anyone to be stuck drinking tap water when everyone else is celebrating.

What are your favourite Christmas drinks? 
Anything we’ve forgotten?
  Share with us in the comments.

Remember what the Christmas season is about.

Christmas’ time is meant to be filled with joy, merriment and thankfulness. Carve out time with family and friends to reconnect with one another. 

Slow down and think about what you really want to do this season. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you forget to enjoy the people you’re doing all this for. By starting early, you’ll be able to have a merry – and much less stressful –Christmas! 

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