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Holidays & Entertaining

Company’s coming? The basics of entertaining, from how much to serve to stress-free party ideas.

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Holiday Organizing Checklist

Overwhelmed by all the season’s good tidings (invitations, gifts, wrapping, and decorations)? Print out this list of suggestions from organizing expert Jodie Watson and you’ll have a happier Yule. 

1. Create a holiday planning binder to stay on track over the holidays.In it, place lists for gifts, cards, invitations, menus, grocery-shopping, and to-dos. Include a countdown calendar to help you plan when you will get everything finished. Spread the workload over a number of weeks to avoid last-minute stress.

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Christmas wreath

Holiday Open-House Party Checklist

  • Send the invitations.
  • Plan a stress-free menu.
see the full list ›
Turkey on a platter

Thanksgiving Potluck Checklist

  • It’s your party, so feel free to ask some of your guests to bring specific dishes.
  • Let guests know at what temperature you will be roasting the turkey.
see the full list ›
Lanterns

Party Planning Checklist

  • Make an invitation list.
  • Decide on a theme, if you want one.
see the full list ›
Gift decorated with star stickers

Christmas Countdown Checklist

  • Make a family plan.
  • Buy plane tickets.
see the full list ›
Mocha-Walnut Brownies

Dessert Party Checklist

  • Make an invitation list.
  • Send invitations.
see the full list ›
Clear martini glass

Home Bar Essentials Checklist

  • Bourbon
  • Cointreau or triple sec (some people swear Cointreau is worth the money even if you mix it)
see the full list ›
Gift tied with green ribbon

Baby Shower Planning Checklist

  • Determine who hosts.
  • Set a budget.
see the full list ›
Bakers Sto ’N Go Container

Holiday Cookie Exchange Checklist

  • Invite friends.
  • Determine how much everyone will make.
see the full list ›
White wine bottle

Dinner Party Checklist

  • Choose a theme, if you want one.
  • Extend invitations.
see the full list ›
Pier 1 Melamine Dinner Plates

1 Unforgettable Picnic

  • Casual foods, preferably sandwiches or other things you can eat without utensils
  • Ice pack or bags of ice
see the full list ›
Variety of cheeses

Cheese Party Checklist

  • 3/4 pound blue cheese
  • 3/4 pound semifirm cheese
see the full list ›
Handmade Leather Football

Super Bowl Party Checklist

  • Super Bowl decorations
  • Coolers, buckets, or small tubs for drinks
see the full list ›
Winter Vista Card by Peagreen

Holiday Card Checklist

  • Update your address list.
  • Write a list of the people to whom you will be sending cards.
see the full list ›
Halloween Towels by C.S. Post & Co.

Halloween Party Checklist

  • Candy and loot bags
  • Punch bowl
see the full list ›
Gifts wrapped in blue paper with jingle bells and tiny handmade paper fan

Child’s Away-From-Home Birthday Party Checklist

  • Discuss with your child what kind of party he or she wants and whom to invite.
  • Pick a date.
see the full list ›
We Take the Cake Coconut Layer Cake

Child’s At-Home Birthday Party Checklist

  • Discuss with your child what kind of party he or she wants.
  • Decide whom to invite.
see the full list ›
Chocolate chip cookies

Bake Sale Checklist

  • If you don’t already have one in mind, select a charity to donate your earnings to.
  • Solicit volunteers by posting sign-up sheets, sending e-mails, or making phone calls.
see the full list ›
Books

Start a Book Club Checklist

  • Decide on the tone and theme of the club.
  • Spread the word.
see the full list ›
Envelope with money

Holiday Tipping Checklist

  • Building superintendent
  • Doorman
see the full list ›
Whole Turkey

Step-by-Step Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Checklist

  • Make the cider glaze for the Cider-Glazed Turkey; refrigerate.
  • Make the gravy base for the Bourbon Gravy; refrigerate. (Alternatively, make and freeze up to 1 month in advance.)
see the full list ›
Mom’s Southern Pecan Pie

Thanksgiving Preparation Checklist

  • Decide which recipes you want to make, keeping in mind that there’s only so much one person―and one kitchen―can do. If you really do need 10 side dishes, look for recipes that use the same oven temperature, so they can cook at the same time, says Bluysen. After you narrow down your menu, reread the recipes that remain. Most can be broken into steps that you can do ahead of time. Then make a list of what you want to get done on each of the days leading up to Thanksgiving, says Bluysen. “I really think if you go through it enough times, you will be more relaxed,” she says.
see the full list ›
Classic Champagne Cocktail

Holiday Party-Planning Timeline Checklist 

  • Reserve a coatrack at a local party-rental supply.
see the full list ›
Gift boxes

Bridal Shower Planning Checklist

  • Pick a date.
  • Compile a guest list.
see the full list ›
White towels

14 Things to Do Before Houseguests Arrive

  • Have a spare key made.
  • Make the bed with clean sheets.
see the full list ›
Stacked suitcases

Holiday Travel Essentials Checklist

  • An efficient carry-on bag.
  • A bulky outfit for the plane.
see the full list ›
Crew 8 Checkpoint-Friendly Brief and 20-inch Rollaboard luggage set

Holiday Carry-On Luggage Restrictions Checklist

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Creamy dips and spreads, including soft cheeses and peanut butter
see the full list ›
Newsletter checklist

How complete is your makeup bag? Be sure to stock these 15 essentials.

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