- Get Ready for Holiday House Guests
If you're going to have house guests, get the guest room ready. Be sure to provide space in closet and drawers for extra clothes and have a bench or table for the suitcase. Get the bathroom spotless and the bedding clean. Fill a pretty basket with seasonal magazines and prepare a tray for snacks. If you'll have a busy social schedule, type out a schedule so no one will miss out on any fun. Decide on daily meal menus and have cereal, toast, jam, butter, coffee, tea, dishes, and silverware handy so that your guests can prepare their own breakfast when they get up. Most house guests really don't want to impose on their host. Let them do some things themselves.
- Plan Your Holiday Apparel
Make final decisions about what you'll wear for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas breakfast, gift opening, and the caroling party. Be sure you have hose, shoes polished, the matching sweater back from the cleaner, and hair accessories picked out. It would be a shame to have everything planned and then not have what you wanted to wear for the occasion. And with so many people taking pictures at this time, get caught looking your best!
- Check Your Gift List One Last Time
Go through your list once more to make sure you haven't forgotten anyone. Does your spouse need any extra gift for someone at work? How about your child's best friend? Check with everyone in your household and make a list of last-minute gift shopping you need to do. Then be sure that you have enough wrapping supplies ready and handy! For quick last-minute wrapping, get a supply of decorated or colored gift bags, tissue, and ribbon.
- Finalize Your Christmas Menus and Make Your Grocery Shopping List
Make a list of all the meals you'll have to prepare. On a separate sheet, write out the menu for each meal and make a list of all the ingredients you'll need, such as "Salad- lettuce, tomatoes, dried cranberries, red wine vinegar dressing" or "Drinks- water, coffee, cream, sweetener, lemons, ice." Then go through your cupboards and refrigerator to see what ingredients you already have. Cross them off the list, and bring them out onto the counter near your cooking area.
- Keep It Simple
Keep party menus simple by using a recipe that can be made ahead of time, such as a yummy casserole for adults or decorated holiday pizza for the kids. To make things realy simple, suggest a pot luck dessert party with friends and enjoy the afternoon visiting instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
- Plan Your Party Table Settings
Do something special with your table. You'll probably spend more time at the table, visiting and reminiscing. Create a beautiful holiday centerpiece, use festive dishes, make holiday place cards, put out the best silver and crystal, and have lots of candles ready. Make sure you have enough plates for each meal, get the spots off the glassware, and polish the silver. See three pages of photos of beautiful place settings you can use on your own Christmas table.
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