This is the time of year to celebrate the season with fun activities, and the gathering of family and friends. But it can also be stressful with scheduling, shopping, cooking, travelling, hosting parties and even the occasional surprise visitors!
Here is a checklist to help you be better prepared, more spontaneous and more fun with less work. After all, the holiday season is the time to kick back as well as celebrate.
Food Basics – Guests drop by? Family and friends linger? Keep a supply of holiday basics so you can invite them to stay without the panic.
- Boxes of chocolate, fancy cookies and assortment of traditional and herbal teas.
- A variety of cheese, nuts and crackers; selection of dips, savoury jellies and fresh bread; easy to cut/serve raw vegetables and fruit. Paired with a selection of wine and spirits.
- A selection of artisan beers served with festive blue and red tortilla chips and salsa.
- Some bottles of non-alcoholic treats, sparkling water such as Perrier® and flavoured beverages such as cranberry, peach, coconut.
Home Sweet Home – Set the mood from the moment you walk in the door. Whether you are coming home from work, shopping or gathering, a festive décor cheers you up and reminds you that this is a special time of the year.
- Bright lights around your house and at the entrance to welcome you and your guests.
- Holiday candles dress up your living room; special soap and towel in the washroom.
- Dress up your sofa with holiday pillows, or re-arrange your furniture to make your home feel fresh and new.
Prepare for Bad Weather – Just when you had planned going somewhere or having invited guests over, there’s a snowstorm or ice everywhere. Make sure you and your guests stay safe.
- Shovels, traction pads and plenty of salt for a snowy day, both at home and in your car. Ski polls or an extra pair of slip on ice cleats in case of slippery sidewalks.
- Walk your guests to their car so make sure they leave your place safe and sound.
- Bring your own slippers when going to a party, and keep some inexpensive ones for your guests.
- Keep a list of contacts handy of family members, friends, guests and hosts. Keep each other informed in case of bad weather – it’s just a simple phone call or a text message for peace of mind.
- Have a written list of emergency contacts: taxis, roadside assistance, tow trucks, police, babysitter, pet sitter, doctor, family members and friends to call.
Entertaining and Relaxing
- Music – playlist of holiday favourites you can turn on and immediately set the mood
- Collection of movies or a must-watch list when you feel like relaxing.
- Books and magazines handy when you have a quite moment to read.
- Accessories to set the festive mood such as sparkly necklaces and earrings, scarves, lapel pins, festive tie or socks – something you can always put on and in an instant, have a smile on your face.
- Personal favourite comfort food, drinks, soft lights, soothing aromatherapy – whatever will help you calm down after a long day.