13 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

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By Margaret Bristol

Source: Good Housekeeping

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry, but sometimes playing hostess can feel more like a burden than a blessing. We asked our Good Housekeeping Institute pros and a few party planners for advice on how to throw the perfect holiday soiree — minus the headache.

Mix Self-Serve Cocktails

Forget stocking a bar cart with endless supplies for everyone’s favorite drink. Decide on one or two festive picks (like spiked apple cider, Moscow mules, or Cranberry 75 punch, pictured) to prep ahead and let guests serve themselves from punch bowls.

Opt For No-Cook Appetizers

Put together beautiful cheese and charcuterie boards instead of fussing over hot hors d’oeuvres. They’re delicious and can be assembled in minutes on pretty wooden, slate or marble cutting boards, says our Kitchen Appliances Lab. Include an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, olives, crackers, grapes, spiced nuts, and spreads!

Create a “Quick-Chill” Station

Make a tub of salted ice water (one cup of salt per gallon of H2O) to chill bottles of wine and other drinks. It will also free up fridge space — just keep a few bar cloths by the tub for wiping drippy bottles.

Stock Up On To-Go Boxes

Get new containers that don’t cost a ton (like those from Lab favorite Glad) so you can send everyone home with leftovers without raiding your own supplies.

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