Nothing winds me tighter than hosting family and friends for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It has nothing to do with the company, and more to do with my love-hate relationship with perfectionism and details. I want to have a hot cocoa station for the kids and a gourmet coffee bar for the adults. I want the food to look effortless but taste like skilled effort. I want my tablescape to be noticed. I want to decorate guest rooms. I want to create a memorable Christmas for my family. But I also don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping and obsessing over details. Unfortunately, I spend the days and hours prior to Christmas Eve doing just that--and acting more like a Scrooge.
It’s time to reevaluate my efforts.
When I think back to my childhood, Christmas gatherings were about the feelings I felt and not about the tangible things like food and tablescapes. Okay, fair. I remember the presents and cookies quite fondly. But overall, it was the hyper-happy feeling of joy. That joy came from the sights and sounds and the people surrounding me, and it was now my job to provide an atmosphere that let the special people in my life shine.
I made a list and narrowed it down to three things to keep Christmas hosting impactful yet SIMPLE:
This one is a no-brainer given the season as the Christmas tree and other reflective decorations do most the work. However, don’t underestimate the extra sparkle that comes from wiping down your chandeliers, pendants, mirrors, and any windows that are in high traffic areas like the dining room or kitchen. For minimal effort (and no money) watch as lights bounce and shine bringing your house to life. My secret weapon is the Norwex polishing cloth. It requires just a spritz of water to buff glass to a dazzling shine.
A de-cluttered look is hard to achieve given most of us have Holiday decor displayed in every nook and cranny. Do your best to clear important surfaces to only the necessary items or thoughtful decor. This will allow room for guests to rest glasses and plates as they circulate, as well as create a sense of order as people, presents, and platters of food fill a room.
Probably the simplest of all, but often overlooked. Sure it’s easy to choose a pre-made playlist from Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc, but creating your own is just as easy and ensures minimal versions of Little Drummer Boy. Curating a Christmas playlist also allows you to achieve the perfect mood, as well as discover holiday gems by artists you love. I like to include “wintery” songs like Flannel by Justin Timberlake, or Song for a Winter’s Night by Sarah McLaughlan to offer a break from traditional Christmas songs. Music should be noticeable but not overpowering. Let conversation and laughter be the main sounds of the season.
Bottom Line: I already feel less stressed heading into Christmas with this game plan. Along with a vow to ignore Pinterest and stay away from Pottery Barn. Happy Holidays!