Easy Entertaining Tips for a Stress-Free Gathering

If you are hosting for the holidays here are a few of my favorite easy entertaining tips for a stress-free gathering.

So prepare yourself now to enjoy your guests and have a wonderful party, rather large or small.

Tip #1

Don’t Clean, Do Declutter

If you have a room you won’t be using and it has a door, it’s quite acceptable to close it.  Declutter the areas you’ll have guests and leave the floor mopping, dusting and general cleaning until after everyone leaves.  You’ll appreciate the extra energy you have!

Your guests are thrilled to see you and they are not checking for water spots on the crystal or flatware.  In fact, they are totally happy if you’re serving off paper plates.

Note:  I do give the bathrooms a last-minute wipe down and make sure those areas are clean with fresh towels or paper towels.

Tip #2

Keep it Simple

This may seem obvious, but it seems like we’re all inspired by Pinterest or Insta and we get unreasonable expectations as to what we can accomplish and how it might turn out.

It really isn’t worth it to try something new that requires special ingredients and a lot of time and effort if the outcome isn’t certain.

Nothing more disappointing than something you’ve spent a lot of blood, sweat and tears on and have it look like you nailed it.  😞

Tip #3

Set up a Self-Serve Bar

Being a bartender and greeter can be a little overwhelming.

Answering the door, collecting coats and bags might mean leaving some guests without a drink for a while. 

If you can greet your guests and then direct them to a self-serve bar and let them know to serve themselves, they can decide what they want, when they want.

It also gives them elbow room to greet the other guests or introduce themselves.

Tip #4

Light it Up

Here is a sad truth.  People my age can be a little scary with candles.  The thought of beautiful candles throughout my house is wonderful.  Forgetting to blow one of them out at the end of the evening is not so great.

Battery-operated candles have come a long way and can really give the ambiance you’re looking for.   And fairy lights everywhere complete the vibe.

These tapers from Amazon get great reviews and I’ve loved them the past couple years.

Turn the rest of the lights down low and don’t worry about your dust or water spots on the glasses.

Don’t forget to light up the front porch and pathway so guests can easily find their way out if they are leaving in the dark.

Simple tea lights in kitty litter filled brown paper bags make beautiful luminarias for party night.

Tip #5

Don’t Forget the Music

I’ve found there are some really creative stations on Pandora you can stream for free.  Is your vibe classic holidays?  Modern music?  Hip cocktail party?

Set the mood, turn on your Bluetooth and forget it.

Tip #6

Skip the Clean Up

If you want to enlist your guests to help you clean up, that’s fine.  But if you don’t, skip the clean up until everyone leaves.

Using disposable cups, plates napkins and utensils, especially holiday themed, are festive and quite acceptable.

Make sure you have clean trash can liners and an easy place for guests to toss trash.  If you’re a stickler for recycling, make that clear as well.

Tip #7

Enjoy Yourself

If you are relaxed and happy, your gathering will be successful and you’ll be inclined to host again.

Wrap Up

I hope these next few weeks bring you joy and time with those who make you happy.  God bless you and yours.