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Tuesday Tip - 5 Ways to Entertain with Ease During the Holidays

So you just closed on your new house and can't wait to host the holiday celebrations, what a great way to show off your new digs!  But when you're running around the morning of your get together trying to find a gift for the unexpected, last minute guest your sister is bringing while trying to rework the menu to accommodate for the Gluten allergy you forgot about, your inner scrooge is likely to emerge.  Here are 5 tips to help you get through the chaos of entertaining during the holidays.

- It's like the song says, make a list and check it twice.  If you wake up in the middle of the night with a genius gift idea for your hard to shop for Uncle, write it down.  If you're on the treadmill and you think of an obscure ingredient that you CAN NOT forget at the store, write it down.  Keep a note pad with you so you can keep all of your thoughts and plans together in one spot, and at the end of the day organize them into topics or columns.  Once a thought is on paper, let it go and use that vacated real estate in your brain for more important thoughts.

- Once you've made your menu, it's a good idea to identify and pull out the dishes that you'll be serving them on.  That way when the oven timer goes off and your famous dish starts to burn, you're not digging through cupboards trying to find the one platter that is buried beneath every other dish you own.

-Create a natural, and simple table scape using fresh holly, produce or other easy to find, inexpensive items.  You can find inspiration and easy to follow directions on sites like Pinterest.  Name cards are also a good idea, as it prevents confusion and stammering when it's time to sit down.

-Make your out of town guests feel welcome with a small greeting kit containing everything they might need during their stay, plus a few extras like local treats, brochures for local tours, or a book on the history of your town.  This will go a long way with making your guests feel comfortable and at home, and it will also make them more self-sufficient during their stay.

-The last one is most important - delegate!  When someone asks what they can do to help, give them a task, it makes them feel good to contribute and it frees up your time for other things.  Make a list of simple tasks that don't require your direct attention, and don't be afraid to assign chores, like dish duty, to the relatives you're closest to you.

We hope this helps make your holiday hosting a little merrier!

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