The holidays are the perfect time to show off your entertaining skills. But with all the parties, the shopping, and the cooking, even the most put-together hostess will start to feel the pressure at some point this month. This year, we’re sending that stress packing with a few of our favorite holiday hacks. Check them out below, and then tell us some of your best timesavers for the season.
- Wrap garland around tomato cages to make miniature Christmas trees. These look great flanking the front door with some simple white lights or bows.
- Most string lights come on either green or white cords. If you’re looking for something to match your décor, why not paint them? Remove the bulbs, stuff a little bit of tissue inside the sockets, and spray paint your string lights for a gorgeous effect.
- If one side of your Christmas tree faces a wall, just string the lights along the side that faces the room. It’ll save time and money by allowing you to use fewer strands of lights.
- Use what you have! Replace family photos and artwork with leftover wrapping paper or printables in the frames you already have.
- Double up your holiday recipes and freeze the extras so you always have some on hand. This will come in handy on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking or when guests pop by!
- Making a wine-based punch or cocktail? Freeze a little wine in some ice cube trays and use it in lieu of regular ice. This will keep your drinks from getting watered down.
- Do as much as you can in advance. For example, prep a Christmas morning breakfast casserole ahead of time. All you’ll have to do is pop it in the oven on Christmas morning.
- Decorate store-bought cookies instead of baking your own. We won’t tell a soul!
- Make your Christmas buffet potluck. There’s no reason one person should have to take on the stress of cooking everything.
- Have a quick entertaining backup on hand. Keep some cheese, grapes, crackers, jams, olives, nuts, and maybe a couple of cured meats on hand for last minute entertaining. Try having the foods on hand for a Quick Charcuterie Plate like this one from Basil and Bubbly.
- Store spools of ribbon or gift wrapping paper on a wooden dowel or hanger to rein them in.
- Wrap strings of lights around a hanger, a piece of cardboard, or an empty paper towel roll for storage.
- When wrapping presents, place a piece of wrapping paper or a paper clip on the end of the tape so you don’t lose it every time.
- Take a picture of your fridge or cupboard shelves before you go shopping. That way, you’ll be sure not to double up on something you already have.
- Start every evening with an empty dishwasher. Cleanup is much easier when you can quickly rinse everything and put it in the washer.
- Use all white linens when entertaining so any stains are easier to remove.