By: Dominique Duba
Between having the perfect décor and serving the perfect meal, hosting for the holidays can sometimes take away from the sentimental aspect of spending time with those you love!
Hi, I’m Dominique from the lifestyle blog And She Loved, and this year, my husband and I are hosting my family for Christmas. So, I’m sharing a few ways we alleviate the stress and focus on enjoying our families this holiday season.
Simplify the Appetizers
Is it even a party if there aren’t appetizers? I don’t know about you all, but when I go to a holiday event, I love being able to snack on a few treats before the meal is served. When I host, I like easier options, so my go-to is a charcuterie board! Charcuterie may seem overwhelming with all the options but that’s the fun part, in my opinion! You don’t really have to put much thought into the items you put on your boards or trays. Get a random assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, etc., and people can choose what they like. Most grocery stores carry a great range of items!
Another option I like to serve is something for those with a sweet tooth. I have never been the type to truly enjoy baking, so I like to find recipes that are easy and delicious. These monkey bread “cupcakes” fit the bill perfectly. You could go all out and make your own biscuits, but I prefer to use Pillsbury biscuits!
1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits
4 TBSP butter
½ c. white sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350*F and line 8 muffin tins with muffin cups
- Cut each biscuit into 6 small pieces and put in a medium-size mixing bowl
- Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well
- Melt butter and pour over the biscuit pieces, tossing to coat
- Next add the cinnamon sugar nutmeg mix over the biscuit pieces, coating each piece
- Add 6 pieces to each muffin cup
- Bake for 11 minutes
- Best served hot and gooey!
Offer Self-Served Drinks
While a holiday cocktail is always a good idea for a party, I like having a non-alcoholic option available. A hot cocoa bar is such a fun addition! Just set out your mugs and arrange all the hot cocoa fixings. Your guests can make their cocoa as simple or as fancy as they like. This is fun for any children in your family as well!
Prepare Your Favorite Foods
We all love the food at a party! For a lot of holiday get-togethers, there are some “typical” foods that you usually see, such as ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc. This year, I decided to go another route and serve a non-traditional holiday meal: tacos!
Honestly, everyone loves tacos! Also, instead of spending all morning in the kitchen juggling the timing of using the oven, I can prepare the meal as much as possible the day before. This alleviates so much added pressure to serve a perfect meal.
Stick to Family Traditions
In my family, we typically do a white elephant gift exchange. The rules are simple: don’t spend more than $10 on a gift, wrap it and bring it along. We roll dice set to a timer and choose a gift from the pile. It’s so fun to see what everyone ends up with!
Something else very important to our family, actually the most important, is to acknowledge those who are no longer with us. Holidays don’t feel fully complete when you have lost family members, and honoring the memories of them helps ease some of the heaviness of missing them, especially during the holidays. We always set a place at the table for our son, Caleb, and we have family write him a letter for his stocking that myself, my husband, and my daughter read on Christmas morning. These traditions mean so much to us.
The holidays don’t have to be stressful. There are so many ways to ease the burden of hosting and to not put so much pressure on yourself for being perfect. What’s most important is remembering that these times only happen once a year, and creating new memories with those you love is how to truly enjoy the holiday season!
About the author: Hi! I’m Dominique from the lifestyle blog, And She Loved. When I’m not working on content creation, I work as a pediatric Registered Nurse. I am also a mom! I love sharing the things that make me happy, and the things that impact myself and my family. I hope that some of the things I write will resonate!