The Holiday Survival Guide
Oh, the holidays! The fun! The food! The blown budgets and stressful traveling and party dilemmas and…food. Here’s how to ride it all out.
A guide to good guest behavior at seasonal festivities.
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A candy cane-to-nuts schedule for a free-flowing get-together that leaves you plenty of time to enjoy your guests.
- Send the invitations. Make it clear whether children are welcome. Include a definite ending time—4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is ideal—so guests don’t arrive while you’re mopping up.
- Plan a stress-free menu. Serve foods that can be prepared ahead of time. Limiting beverages to sparkling water, juices, and red and white wine should satisfy everyone and makes a bartender unnecessary. Create a schedule of when each dish can be made, as well as a shopping list.
- Reserve any needed rental items. The rule of thumb is two plates, forks, and glasses per guest. (Rental glasses—tumblers are more worry-free than stemware—are a time-saver, since you just rinse and return them.) Alternatively, approach friends about borrowing items.
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