Kick Holiday Stress With These 5 Easy Entertaining Tips

Hosting Christmas dinner should be a joyous occasion, a time when friends and relatives gather ’round your table to eat, drink and be merry.

But we all know it takes a lot of work to host a holiday dinner. Planning a menu, cleaning your home, trimming the tree, decorating your table and cooking the food can take weeks of preparation.

But you don’t have to be a wigged out host/ess this year, thanks to these holiday entertaining tips from Bed Bath & Beyond. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be sipping mulled wine with your feet up on the perfectly-decorated coffee table by the time your dinner guests arrive!

1. Prep Work Takes Out the Guess Work: The key to reducing stress around the holidays is to plan your work in advance. Start putting together a guest list and menu about three to four weeks ahead of time to determine the hors d’oeuvres, specialty drinks, main course, side dishes and, of course, the coffee bar and desserts.

2. Turkey Talk: Once you’ve chosen a menu, make sure you have the right pieces to prepare the meal, especially the turkey. Turkey essentials include a roasting pan, meat thermometer and gravy separator. Keep in mind that every turkey is different so your roaster should be able to handle even a 25-pound holiday bird. Your serving plate will need to be large enough to accommodate your turkey, and there should be enough additional room on the plate to surround with garnish.

3. Mix & Match Dinnerware: When it comes to serving guests, it’s helpful to get open stock dinnerware in both white and clear so you can mix and match as needed. Be sure that you have enough of the right drinkware for serving cocktails when guests first arrive and then have a water and wine glass on the table for each guest to use during the meal.

4. It’s About the Presentation: Consider how you’d like to present your meal to your guests. Whether it’s a sit-down dinner or buffet style, your food will be the main focus. Using an item like triple slow cooker is great for a buffer. It will let you cook, keep your food warm and allow your guests to help themselves all at once.

5. Create a Tablescape: You can make a great impression before your guests sit down to eat by crafting a beautiful setting for them. You can create ambiance by adorning the holiday dinner table and buffet area with seasonally inspired decor and infusing pops of color with the tablecloth, metallic chargers, napkins and fresh flowers. For a finishing touch, you can set the mood with candles by using a mix of tea lights and candlesticks on the table at varying heights.

Image(s): Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

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