As we head into the holidays, my focus is simplifying traditions. As a parent of four adults, some of whom have kids of their own, and extended family, we have a large group. We have decided to create new memories without the stress of following old traditions. The priority for us this year is celebrating time together, laughing, and having fun! With that topic in mind, I am offering a few tips to help you simplify your holiday traditions.
6 Tips to Simplify your Holiday Traditions
- Assign Tasks. Take turns being the host house for the holidays. Assign everyone to bring a favorite dish to share. If you are traveling from out of town, beverages and fresh flowers are always delightful and can be picked up locally.
- Host an Activity. This activity would work for families, friends, or any combination you plan to enjoy this holiday! Choose a theme; for example, it could be a Best Drink (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and have blind taste tests. The theme ideas are limitless, Best Dessert, Best White Wine, Best Beer, Best Appetizer, whatever interests your family!
- Choose a Fun Game to Play. Choosing a game that adults and kids can play together can be challenging; I recommend creating teams and working together. Games such as Bingo, Guesstures, or Pictionary work for all ages! Choose one of these games if it is an adult crowd and you are gathering with friends.
- Simplify Gift Giving. Decide as a family that adults will participate in a White Elephant Exchange. It’s easy and fun if you have a big group getting together for the holiday season. Set a budget and be creative! I suggest to my family that the children continue to get gifts from everyone and not participate in the Exchange.
- Simplify Meal Prep. Create a list of what you want to make. Eliminate last-minute stress by purchasing all your non-perishable items now, including canned and boxed items. Purchase your beverages now and have a supply on hand of appetizer crackers, nuts, and snacks. Make a note next to each dish you are making and which serving platter you intend to use to ensure you have the necessary serving items planned.
- Appetizer Ideas for Before or After Party Guests. Pulling together a charcuterie board is easy and can be last minute. You can pick fresh fruits, veggies, and cheese options closer to the event. Have on hand a variety of nuts, dried dates, figs, mango strips, hummus options, olives, dried meats, canned smoked mussels, or oysters. Find out ahead of time if anyone has dietary requests such as gluten or dairy free.
Make ahead and freeze your favorite meatball, have jarred sauce or premade pesto on hand to warm up, and serve as an appetizer! Create flatbread pizzas with your favorite toppings, or purchase frozen thin-crust pizzas to warm up! Check the frozen area of your grocery store for seasonal premade appetizers such as potstickers or mini quiches that you can quickly warm up when you need them!
The key is to simplify, laugh, and enjoy time with friends or family! Drop me a note with your time-saving tips or favorite appetizer ideas; I would love to share them with my readers!