The holidays are here. And when the month of December rolls around, our to-do lists triple in length, and it seems like there’s less and less time to get everything done.
But holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be a time of fun and merriment with family and friends and of gathering with those who mean the most to you, not worrying about whether your house is clean or if all of your dishes will be cooked in time.
So how can you balance it all?
Entertaining can be as easy as you make it. Here are some ways to plan for your next holiday soiree without all the worry and hassle:
Plan Ahead … And Cook Ahead
There’s no rule that says that you have to cook your entire menu on the actual day of your event.
With the right amount of planning, you can create delicious, exciting meals ahead of time so that when it comes time for your guest to arrive, you don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen or tied to the stove, and you can be enjoying holiday time with your guests instead.
From turkeys to cakes to cheesy potatoes, there’s no shortage of recipes that you can make well in advance, and some recipes you can even prepare and then freeze to save time on the day of your event.
You also can choose slow-cooker recipes that are easy to put together, and allow you plenty of time for cleanup the day of your party.
An added bonus to cooking ahead? You’ll have fewer dishes in the sink and less mess in your kitchen when your guests arrive!
Keep Decorating Simple
You don’t have to cover your entire home with Christmas lights and light-up decorations—unless you want to!
It can be tempting to spend hours upon hours decorating your house, especially if you are expecting company. But it’s also OK to focus on a few specific areas or decorate with a few simple statement pieces instead.
Running low on time to decorate the exterior of your home with lights? That’s OK! You can make just as great of an impact with a beautiful wreath or a bow on the front door or maybe potted evergreens lining your porch. You can keep it simple and still make a big impact with elegant decor.
Bonus tip! Visit your local garden center, hardware store or wherever you can buy fresh Christmas trees for a wreath made from fresh cut greens, or even loose bunches of cut greens to arrange in a planter on your porch.
You even can hang a wreath of real greens inside your home. The smell of fresh-cut pine will fill your home with Christmas cheer!
Worried about a centerpiece for your party table? Save time arranging flowers, and place a few brightly colored ornaments in a pretty dish instead. It’ll look festive and fun and will take seconds to complete.
Hosting a holiday party – Make It Fun!
When you are hosting a holiday party, you get to decide exactly what kind of party you want to throw.
There are all kinds of holiday party themes out there that your guests will enjoy and will make your life easier. Maybe it’s an ugly sweater party, or maybe you want to host a cookie decorating party. You can make cookies ahead of time and have frosting, sprinkles and candy pieces ready to add to each festive cookie creation.
Don’t forget to stock up on to-go containers so your party guests can take their beautiful baked goods home with them!
Another popular party theme that might save you time in the kitchen is to host a cookie swap or a cookie exchange. An idea to make your cookie swap the best ever? Have guests send their recipes to you ahead of time and compile them into a recipe book for each of your attendees!
Looking for other holiday party ideas? Consult this list of seasonal party themes for your next event.
Whatever your party theme, just remember: Your party can be as simple or as formal as you would like it to be—as long as you also make it fun!
Welcoming House Guests
Are friends and family members traveling over the river and through the woods … to your house?
For many gatherings, you may not just be planning a party, you also may be hosting overnight guests. If you’re expecting some holiday houseguests, you need to do more than just deck the halls.
So how can you ensure your houseguests feel comfortable? At the end of your holiday party, your guests will want to climb into a comfortable bed with clean sheets, and they’ll appreciate a shower with fresh towels at the end of the night or early the next morning.
If temperatures are set to drop, as they often do in December, you can help your guests stay warm and cozy by setting out a few extra freshly laundered blankets so they can layer up and snuggle under a few extra covers if it gets too chilly.
The more you can do to make your guests feel comfortable and at home, the easier it will be for you to relax when they arrive.
Hosting a holiday party in a Beautifully Cleaned Home
Cleaning around the holidays is a challenging ordeal. There are more things to be cleaned and dusted when we put up Christmas decorations, and with all the cooking, decorating and shopping, your kitchen and home may need a bit of extra attention. When you’re hosting a holiday party, your main focus is probably whether or not your house is ready.
Your kitchen is the center of your home. And think about the most recent parties you’ve attended: At least one moment in the night, chances are the party guests had all congregated in the kitchen.
It’s the heart of your home. But is your kitchen ready? Your kitchen has just survived the mess and chaos of prepping for your Thanksgiving meal, and if you’ve done a lot of cooking to prepare for your holiday gathering, it may need a little extra attention to be ready for visitors.
Holiday cleaning also might mean messy floors after snowstorms or slush on the sidewalks, so have a mop bucket handy to tackle dirty floors.
Looking for other holiday cleaning tips?
The holidays are a time when visitors may unexpectedly drop in. Keep a bin or basket handy or a drawer clear to swipe stray papers, clutter or toys into and place it in a closet so your home is tidy for guests. Your bin of Christmas cards, gift wrap supplies or your kids’ race cars still will be there for you after your guests leave!
Your to-do list is long enough around the holidays. Why not cross one thing off your list by hiring Helping Hands and taking advantage of our holiday cleaning services? You can spend more time thinking about the fun things like your holiday party themes and less time thinking about the not-so-fun things, like whether or not you dusted that bookshelf.
Another thing to consider: What about hiring us to clean up after your party is over?
Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done in preparation for your holiday gathering. But what about the morning after your party? Chances are you’ll be ready to move onto the next fun holiday event, or you’ll have presents to wrap or places to go.
Let us help you with the mess the next day and restore your home to the clean, beautiful, cozy place it can be.
Helping Hands Cleaning Services is proud to serve families in Westchester and the surrounding areas—and they are endlessly pleased with the work we do. We know that, especially around the holidays, cleaning should take a backseat to creating lasting memories with the ones you love, and that’s why we are here.
While we offer regular residential cleaning services, there’s always room for customization to cater to your holiday needs. Why take advantage of professional cleaning services if it’s not convenient for your holiday plans?
Let’s book your holiday cleaning session today! Request a quote, and let’s help you get ready for the holidays!