As someone who chooses to stay in pajamas for 90% of Christmas Day, with or without family coming to visit, I can completely understand how stressful hosting for the holidays can be.
Whether you’re dividing your time between in-laws for the first time, or have put off wrapping gifts until Christmas Eve, the thought of having to have a clean house on top of everything is more than a little daunting. That being said, I stand by the fact that even if you’re playing hostess, you can still enjoy the holiday!
Take a breath. No matter how much I love Pinterest, I realize that there is a time and a place to host a Pinterest-perfect party, and Christmas Day doesn’t have to be one of those. Between buying and wrapping gifts, making cookies for Santa, and spending time with out of town family, the last thing you need to be doing is hand making place cards and slaving away in the kitchen.
Don’t be afraid to delegate. Pick and choose the things you truly want to do, and delegate the rest. Whether you have family coming into town or it’s more of a “holiday mashup” of friends and family, there’s no unspoken rule that says you need to slave away in the kitchen all day. Create a potluck style meal, so you just have to focus on 1-2 items, rather than the whole meal.
Comfort is key. If you’re having 10+ people over, don’t feel like you have to squeeze them around the dining room table. By creating a buffet, you set up more of a laid back, comfortable atmosphere-- even if you are eating off of the nice Christmas china!
Serve yourself. Just because you’re hosting, doesn’t mean that you need to play bartender and waiter all night too. Stock a bar cart, set up some appetizer trays throughout the house, and allow guests to help when they offer, so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen all night.
Be flexible. One of the most important keys to being a good host(ess) is flexibility. If a guest wants to bring a last minute date, let them! Will it mess up your seating arrangements? Proabably. But who cares? After all, if you can’t open up your home to friends and family at the holidays, when can you?
So when seemingly tasked with the notion of hosting Christmas dinner, remember the reason for the season, and instead, use it as an opportunity to provide a warm meal and an opportunity for fellowship to your nearest and dearest.