Tips for Dealing with Holiday Hosting Stress

The holidays are a wonderful season of gathering family and friends. They can also be incredibly stressful. Instead of just gritting your teeth this year, prepare in advance. There are a few strategies you can use to remove the stress from the holiday season and enjoy festivities with your loved ones.

1. Utilize Bed and Breakfasts

Utilize bed and breakfasts

All adults need their privacy. If family members have stayed overnight with you in the past, this doesn’t need to become a tradition. Local bed and breakfasts give your guests their own space and privacy and remove the obligation for you to be up early making breakfast or cleaning up after them. When relatives arrive at your front door from a B&B, you will be a cheerful host that is ready to receive them. Pictured: Arlington Inn

2. Ask for Help

Ask for help

Sometimes we think we can do it all on our own. But why not ask for help? If relatives are coming over, kindly ask if they would bring a bottle of wine or be in charge of dessert. Many guests enjoy being given a task or responsibility that will help contribute to the special occasion. Plus, delegating leaves one less task on your list.

3. Arrange a Gift Swap

Arrange a Gift Swap

One of the most stressful aspects of the holidays is shopping for gifts. When it comes to your extended family — especially if there are a lot of kids — why not suggest a gift swap this year? Set a price limit, anywhere from $10 to $100, and each member of the family will get one quality gift instead of a bunch of small gifts. This will leave you with more time to enjoy the pleasures of the holiday season.

4. Stick to the Classics

Stick to the Classics

When hosting for the holidays, it’s tempting to be ambitious when it comes to cooking. We often see beautiful recipes in magazines or online and think that the holidays are the perfect chance to try something new and special. Before you go down that road, know that there is a lot of room for error for something you’ve never tried before. Stick to classic dishes that you’ve mastered instead, or do a test run with the recipe before the holidays.

5. Take Time to Organize

Take Time to Organize

An organized host is a stress-free host. Start making lists weeks in advance. What can be made ahead of time? What last-minute items will you need to pick up? Can your kids help with cleaning, prepping food, or setting the table? The holidays are made much easier when everyone pitches in. Give each member of the family a short list of tasks to complete to help the holidays go smoothly. This will give you considerable more time to relax and enjoy your company. Pictured: Innkeeper of Yates House B&B

In addition to all of these strategies, there’s one more thing to remember about hosting for the holidays: keep your expectations under control. No holiday is perfect, and everything from quirky family members to a dry turkey is all part of the fun. Don’t get bogged down in the details; spending time with loved ones is what matters most.