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12 Holiday Entertaining Shortcuts

By mdblog - December 15, 2016
The holidays are coming quicker than expected and we’re all a little overwhelmed when we think about all the things we want to do for the holidays versus the time we actually have to do them. We’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of entertaining shortcuts so you can save time while creating an inviting home for the holidays. Whether you are just hosting a small family affair or a large gathering with all your friends and coworkers these tips will help you set-up a beautiful holiday home.
  1. Send out eVites: Rather than rushing around to the card store then the post office or spending time calling everyone individually, send out eVites. You can invite everyone at once. We love Paperless Post for eVites. Not only is it free, but you can also track all of your RSVPs so you know who is coming.
  2. Order food online: Instead of dealing with traffic and the holiday rush, order some of your pantry items online. Amazon Pantry has a great selection of grocery items that will be delivered right to your door. Many local grocery stores also offer this option. The best part about ordering your food online is if you forget something on your list you don’t have to rush back to the store to get it.
  3. Rent serving wear: There are tons of party rental stores in Providence that offering rental china. You can spend days trying to find and buy all the glasses, dishes, silverware, and serving bowls you will need. Make things easy on yourself and rent all these things. It’s surprisingly affordable.
  4. Skip the traditional centerpiece: Floral centerpieces are expensive and can take a lot of time to find. So skip the floral arrangement and opt instead for a creative piece using gingerbread houses, vases filled with ornaments, or a mini holiday tree. Work whatever decorations you already have and don’t be afraid to get creative!
  5. Dine family-style: Rather than making courses which can be a lot of extra work to not only serve but set the table, simply have everyone dine family style or offer a buffet.
  6. Pick dishes that are easy to make: Rather than slaving away for hours over a holiday ham, plan your meal around simple, but elegant items. Here’s a great list from Real Simple for easy but impressive menu offerings.
  7. Simplify your bar offerings: Instead of offering a wide range of cocktails, make a simple punch or mulled wine you can keep on the stove. Then guests can help themselves and you won’t have to spend your evening making cocktails.
  8. Take decorating shortcuts: Use fabric from the bolt, grab pre-made arrangements, and stick to two or three colors to keep decorating simple. Also, instead of spending the time decorating your entire house, just have a few key areas with a major pop.
  9. Decorate with natural elements: One of the best things about living in Providence is the natural beauty. Going to the store to pick up decor items can be a huge hassle, so instead go out to your backyard. Cut sprigs off evergreens, collect pinecones, and branches. These make beautiful decor elements and they are also free.
  10. Invest in LED candles: LED candles are safer for your guests and do not have to be replaced every year. Plus, they are easier to light. They’ll save time and money.
  11. Focus on the fireplace: Decorate your mantel with simple holiday items like ornaments, figurines, and garland. A lit fireplace is a lot of work to maintain and can heat your home too quickly. Instead fill the space with pillar candles to provide the ambience without the work or the excess heat.
  12. Pick a go-to gift: Picking out gifts for all of your guests individually can be a real hassle. Instead, pick one thing that everyone will like such as a scented candle, a beautiful scarf, or a cool kitchen gadget. You won’t have to spend as much time shopping and you’ll still give something your guests will love.
Hopefully these shortcuts will help you skip the stress this year and check everything off your list, so you can relax and enjoy the holidays with your family.

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Jim DeRentis
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