Christmas Ornaments

The end of the year is meant for relaxing and spending time with your loved ones. However, we all know that this time of year can also be a bit hectic with holiday guests arriving. Below are seven quick tips to decorate your home and have a stress-free holiday.

1. Decorate all the way. Decorating can take an entire weekend or longer. If you haven’t already finished, try decorating a little bit here and there each morning or evening to spread out the fun and break it into several smaller jobs. 2. Decorate with gifts, food, and children’s artwork. Instead of shopping for lots of holiday decorations, be creative and let your friends and family help. As cards arrive in the mail, friends bring over gifts, and kids bring home holiday projects from school, arrange them artistically around your home. 3. Improve your lighting. Because overnight guests are not familiar with your house, they might need extra lighting to help with getting around at night. Plug night lights in guest rooms, bathrooms, and hallways. Place reading lamps on guest room nightstands. Add holiday candles in dark shared spaces to help decorate and improve lighting. 4. Organize your dinner table setup in advance. Homes with a separate dining table can arrange a centerpiece and partially set the holiday table in advance. Your guests can appreciate the table array longer and you save on last minute time, too. 5. Cook in advance. Review your holiday dinner menu to see which items you may be able to prepare in advance. Items such as cranberry sauce, breads, and some casseroles can be prepared ahead of time and frozen until they’re needed. Other dishes can be partially prepared in advance to save time later. And, don’t be afraid to let your guests add some of their holiday favorites to the spread and take some of the load off you. 6. Prepare a cleanup plan. A cleanup plan helps the host enjoy the occasion after dinner. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may want to create a rinsing and stacking area for dishes while they wait in line for the dishwasher, or a series of bins for sorting and soaking dishes. 7. Create a music mix. Don’t spend the evening glued to the stereo trying to find appropriate holiday music. Create an MP3 playlist from your collection of holiday tunes, which can be reused in years to come.

Now, you can sit back and relax! You've worked hard with all your planning, prepping, and delegating. Now it’s time to sit back, survey your work, and sip on a mug of hard-earned eggnog!