How to Reduce Stress When Entertaining This Season

By Constance Ray @

Holiday EntertainingHosting a gathering during the holidays can be a warm and enjoyable experience. No matter how large or small your celebration, though, it never hurts to have a few strategies in mind to avoid the stress that comes with entertaining. And if you plan ahead, you’ll thank yourself later.


Once you have settled on when to have your party and whom to invite, try using an online service to send out invitations. It’s much faster and cheaper than mailed invitations. In addition, online invitation services offer RSVP reminders, calendar notations, and even room for guests to comment.

Open House

The easiest and best way to throw a party during the holidays is to host an open house.

This option provides a window of time to attend, which will make it easier for your guests to fit your party into their busy schedule. Plus it can give the party a more casual, relaxed feel.

Cleaning House

There are two schools of thought on how to go with cleaning your house when a party is involved.. The first is to clean before the party, the second is to clean after the party. A sparkling clean house is much easier to clean up after a party, but then it’s also a little less sparkly. The alternative is a quick tidy beforehand and a deep clean afterwards, but then you are dealing with the stress of cleaning up before throwing a party. Decide based on your comfort level. Either way, if you can, outsource this to make the whole process that much easier.

Fast Food

Rather than putting out a dinner buffet, consider offering up snacks or appetizers. These come together much faster, and you can find a wealth of recipes online. Another option is to order a variety of prepared foods from your local grocery or specialty food store. Remember, too, that no one has to know that it wasn’t you doing all the work in the kitchen. Lastly, try to keep in mind a variety of the most common dietary restrictions so that you have something for everyone on your guest list.


Nobody has time to come up with amazing playlists for parties anymore, and you don’t want to be chained to the stereo all night swapping out CDs or records. Consider this the perfect opportunity to use a streaming music service that you can listen to through your phone or a bluetooth speaker.


Keep your guest list in mind (Adults? All ages?) when planning what beverages to offer. If you decide to offer cocktails, consider a drink that you can make ahead of time, or put out a few standard liquors and mixers. Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options, in addition to coffee. Try using a beverage cart for self service to avoid standing in the corner making drinks all night. And most importantly, have plenty of ice and cups on hand.


Make sure to get a little time to decompress before your guests arrive. Try taking a walk, taking a nap, reading a book, or sitting down to watch a favorite show. The more relaxed you are as a host, the more relaxed your guests will be.

Perfection Not Required

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of throwing the perfect party, but having everything just right isn’t necessary. And by overthinking it you can easily force yourself into a downward spiral of stress. Try to remember the reason for the season, and don’t get caught up in having everything just so. Take the time to enjoy your guests and your party.

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Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.

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