Reducing Stress for Holiday Party Planning

The holidays should be a time of joy, fun, and togetherness. Unfortunately for many of us they're also a time of unending stress. If party planning has you burnt out before the holidays have even begun, we can help. Here's how to reduce the stress that comes from throwing a holiday party.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate: The holidays are all about togetherness, so why shouldn't holiday party planning be as well? Reach out to close friends and family members and ask for help in putting the party together. To really take the stress off, throw a potluck dinner. Even something as simple as asking a friend to bring ice takes an item off your to-do list.

Prepare for Disasters Before They Happen: Dealing with a broken glass or spilled plate can increase the stress level of even the most seasoned host. Prepare for messes before they happen. Serve your drinks in unbreakable cups to eliminate the risk of dangerous glass shards. Have an assortment of cleaning supplies on hand to deal with spills. Make sure your guests have obvious places to put plates and cups to reduce the risk of disaster.

Stick to a Budget: Excessive spending can easily extend holiday stress into the new year. Create a budget to keep spending under control. Decide on how much you're willing to spend at least two weeks before the date of your party. Find ways to save money by using supplies you already have or by delegating certain tasks to close friends or family. Decide which areas are most important to you, and put a little extra money there. While it may seem tough to stick to a budget while you're planning, your future self will thank you.

Avoid the Scramble: Last minute scrambling can skyrocket your stress levels. This in turn can start your party off on the wrong foot. Avoid the scramble by taking time to plan. During a calmer moment, plan your menu and make a shopping list. The internet is full of party planning checklists, so take a minute to check out a couple for inspiration. Get as much shopping done as early as you can. Same goes for cooking: do prep work a day or two in advance to give yourself a little more breathing room on the day of the event.

Let Your Guests Take Care of Themselves: One of the most stressful things about holiday parties is trying to meet everyone's expectations. Between maintaining family traditions, incorporating your own taste, and trying to impress your boss, you can easily become overwhelmed by trying to make everyone happy. So don't bother! The most important secret of party planning is that if the host is having a good time, it'll set the mood for everyone else. Stop trying to guess what everyone else wants. Let them take care of their own happiness and focus on yours instead. Trust us: your party (and your stress levels) will be better for it.

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