Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2003

(NAPSA)-For some, the holidays are eagerly anticipated, but for others it's a season of dread. Entertaining, shopping and cooking can seem overwhelming and stressful for many holiday hosts.

"Navigating through the holidays doesn't have to be stressful," says Suzanne Williamson, professional entertainer and author of Entertaining for Dummies. "If you prioritize and do a little bit of planning, you can avoid 'holiday headaches' and enjoy being with your family and friends. Remember, entertaining is not about the perfect party, it's about poise and attitude."

The guests shouldn't be the only ones enjoying the party. The entertainer should also take pleasure in the time spent hosting during the holidays. The key? Have a plan and stick to it. To make this easier, the following tips will give you time to enjoy your family and friends this holiday season.

Simplify and limit excess-Believe it or not, the majority of entertaining stress comes from you. People get carried away with all the details and excess takes over. Williamson suggests simplifying the menu by concentrating on one course like all desserts, cocktails, soups or sandwiches. The selection of food can be spread throughout the room or house with clearly labeled place cards explaining each dish.

Ask for help-Involve family and friends in the kitchen. It's a great way to relieve some of the day's responsibilities and encourages mingling amongst guests. Think of jobs each guest can be assigned such as setting the table or stuffing the cream puffs. Before handing out the jobs, organize your kitchen and cabinets. Locate hidden serving utensils and label inside storage areas with the DYMO LetraTag labelmaker.

Adieu hors d'oeuvres work!-Preparing hors d'oeuvres can be a time-consuming job, so make the hors d'oeuvres the day before. Place them in freezer bags and label them clearly with an electronic labelmaker, like the LetraTag from DYMO. Include the contents, the date and the cooking instructions. When you're ready to cook, simply ask for help. The instructions are right on the bag. It's so easy that even your spouse can pitch in!

Over-planning = over-stressing-The most important thing to remember may be this: holiday parties are meant to be fun. Over-planning can take the spontaneity out of the party, for both guests and hosts.

Consider these tips in preparing for your next party, big or small! You can find more information on DYMO labeling solutions, as well as other tips on getting organized at

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