Holiday ideas that won’t stress you out

“Hosting during the holiday season can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be stressful, mentally or physically. If you are relaxed, your guests will feel comfortable and welcomed, ”says Brita Olsen, event designer and planner with a relaxed and elegant approach.

While the word party can involve overindulgence, Olsen says you don’t have to go – a festive but low-key reunion is easily within reach. Here, Olsen’s ideas and tips for the holiday season to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for everyone, including you, to enjoy. The way it should be!

(Sure, it’s tough to navigate on vacation during COVID. It goes without saying, but it’s important to put everyone’s health and safety first and continue to follow guidelines for safe meetings. .)

1. Try a low-key decor

Don’t blow your budget on fancy table setting, says Olsen. Instead, invest in short button vases and cut down evergreens or buy single stems from the store. It’s a simple holiday party idea, but a series of small vases takes the pressure off creating the perfect arrangement and they make conversation easy without obstacles.

Use old postcards as place cards and set up your table in mismatched fashion to make it more accessible. Then just add candles.

2. Take a moment to take care of yourself

The week before your night out, think about what you need to feel calm: pick your outfit, pack some on-the-go snacks, or make breakfasts to prepare, like oatmeal or chia seed pudding. It’s easy to forget to eat a balanced meal when cooking for a group, she says. And the extra time on an event day is golden.

3. Accept help

People will always offer to help, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting it, says Olsen. If you have a friend who is a great baker, ask them to bring their homemade sourdough. Assign tasks like stirring the risotto, making a salad and lighting candles. Throw a dumpling-making party or a stuffed egg contest. The inclusion of your guests creates a common and fun atmosphere and emphasizes small, forced conversations.

4. Never underestimate a charcuterie board

For novice cooks, a charcuterie board can be a sight, she says. You can leave it at that and serve drinks for a cocktail. If you are having a dinner party, it can save you time until the meal is ready. To make this Christmas party idea come true, mix up unusual things like thinly sliced ​​kohlrabi, truffled almonds, and shiny turmeric hummus (add 1 tbsp turmeric, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of turmeric. olive oil to your favorite packaged brand). Serve with gluten-free crackers and cucumber slices. Bonus: if you include fermented foods like pickled beets and pickles, you start the meal with gut-friendly probiotics.

5. Mix your cocktails

With cocktails made in advance, says Olsen, you can accommodate relaxed and focused guests.

Try this apple-maple punch: mix 2 cups of fresh apple juice, 1 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup, 2 cups of seltzer, 1 1/2 cups of ginger beer, a pinch of cinnamon, 2 cups of bourbon and 10 drops of angostura bitters and serve in a punch bowl. For the garnishes, arrange sprigs of rosemary, slices of clementine and candied ginger. For 8 to 10 people.

6. Don’t panic about special requests

If a guest has a dietary restriction, find a delicious dish and make it your meal for everyone, she says. Guests may feel bowled over by a meatless or vegan restaurant, but keep an open mind. Your other guests may be excited to discover something new and different.

7. Take your party on the road

Don’t rule out a winter picnic, says Olsen. If you are planning to follow through on this Christmas party idea, bring plenty of blankets and serve hot soup and mulled wine. The cold is good for the metabolism, and the sun gives you a dose of vitamin D and brightens everyone’s mood. Better yet: whet your appetite with a long walk or hike.

8. Avoid a hangover

Try non-alcoholic drinks. Have some on hand for non-drinking guests. They’re special enough to toast with – pour them into a vintage cocktail glass to get into the spirit.

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