Host happy: casual entertaining tips for a stress-free party this holiday season

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From festive dinners to work gatherings, the holidays are all about spending time with friends and family. But entertaining is never as easy as it looks, and planning the perfect party can add extra pressure at an already stressful time of the year.

So, to help you navigate your busy social calendar, here are five tips to help you take the stress out of entertaining this holiday season:

1. Do a buffet vs. sit-down dinner

While formal sit-down dinners certainly have their place, buffets are a simple way to feed a group, especially when you can include make-ahead options that are easy to place and serve. If you use a table, make sure people can walk all around it to avoid any unwanted bottlenecks.

2. Make a playlist in advance

Music sets the tone of a party. So before we get into the holiday season proper, why not set aside some time to prepare some great playlists in advance? A little bit of forward planning can save a lot of time and stress on the day of your party, as all you need to do is hit play for the perfect soundtrack.

3. Host an open house

With calendars crammed full in holiday months, it can be a challenge to fit everything and everyone in. So why not keep it simple and host a holiday open house one weekend where friends and family can drop in throughout the day? With nibbles and drinks on hand, it’s a fun and festive way to share some holiday cheer.

4. Stock the bar

Molson cropped

At the start of the holiday season, try to shop in bulk to ensure you have more than enough wine, beer, spirits, bubbly and mixers on hand to last multiple gatherings. For beer drinkers who don’t want to sacrifice taste but are conscious of calories, try Molson Canadian 67 for a lighter alternative.

5. Pick your traditions

Holidays are rife with traditions, but don’t feel like you need to follow Grandma’s five-course cooked-from-scratch dinner to have a successful holiday season. Take the stress off, make your holidays your own by choosing your own traditions to continue. Better yet, start some of your own.

 

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