Entertaining without Stress

Entertaining without Stress

As the holiday season approaches and our calendars begin to fill with socializing commitments, that all-too-familiar feeling of stress may appear in our lives.

The traditional plans to enjoy the company of friends, family, and associates, blended with the rising number of party stores and special events companies, points to a trend of more frequent and elaborate get-togethers. This accelerated social "whirl" can be loaded with stress for both the guests and hosts. However, don't toss your enthusiastic party plans into the wastebasket. You can plan an admirable gathering of those near and dear that won't launch you into a "stress mess". You can opt for a more casual event given at an unorthodox time with a clever twist. Read on!

Non-Traditional Theme Parties

AFTERNOON HOLIDAY TEA TASTING features lovely, light refreshments served with a variety of herbal teas and recorded music ranging from the soothing to the spirited. For a unique surprise, open up the dance floor for elegant, au courant tea dancing. Suggestion: Attach a decorative tea bag trimmed with ribbon to your invitation.

WEEKEND HOLIDAY POTLUCK BRUNCH. Plan an open house and serve the food buffet style. You can provide a hearty main dish, fruit and vegetable juices, and coffee, while you ask your guests to bring pastries or fruit to round out the menu. This easy-to-implement gathering will inspire warm and friendly conversation while pleasantly interrupting the hustle of the busy season. Suggestion: Exchange token gifts appropriate for use in the morning hours.

WEEK NIGHT DESSERT & COFFEE BREAK. Can be an after-shopping event that features sampling special coffees and "brought to share" dessert delicacies. Perfect idea to relax and catch up with friends and family. Suggestion: Exchange sweet gifts or participate in a cookie/candy swap. 

AFTER WORK WINE & CHEESE SOCIAL for fellow employees, friends, associates, or clients. Offer light pre-dinner fare such as wine, mineral waters, soft drinks, cheese, crackers, and fresh veggie appetizers. Your guests can spend as little as half an hour mixing and mingling for a bit of holiday cheer. Suggestion: Invite your neighborhood wine/spirits retailer to set up a new product tasting.

CASUAL CHAT 'N HOLICARDS can be a lively and productive session of card addressing, stuffing, sealing, and stamping in a workshop atmosphere. Set up large tables with good lighting and ample snacks and beverages. This plan allows guests to pitch in and do their favorite part of what is usually a monotonous and tedious chore. For guests that do not ordinarily send cards, provide the supplies for extra elegant one-of-a-kind greeting card creations. Suggestion: Provide rubber stamp art supplies for some lavish finishing-touch envelope decorations.


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Entertaining without StressARTS & CRAFT HOLIDAY PLAYTIME requires a similar workshop set-up for guests who will bring holiday and decorating craft projects. Suggestion: Craft pros can be prepared to entertain by giving a short demonstration of a favorite technique.

ROLLICKING WRAP SESSION where a Santa's workshop atmosphere is sure to prevail. Each guest brings one type of ribbon and paper-enough to wrap all of their gifts. The supplies are then pooled and your guests can create fabulous work-of-art packages dressed in a variety of glorious papers and adornments. Suggestion: Fortify busy elves with delicious "gabbing and grabbing" food and drink. Also have a roll of craft or butcher paper available for large bulky items.

You will have a lot less work, worry and expense if you do some creative party pooling by bartering for equipment, labor, and talent with others. This year, be the cool, calm host/hostess who will actually have fun at your own party and enjoy an abundance of holiday spirit-stress-free!


Recommended book: 

The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook: Healthy Recipes for Entertaining Family and Friends -- by Arthur Agatston.

The famed Miami Beach cardiologist who has helped millions of people worldwide to lose weight and eat healthier with his best-selling South Beach Diet books now addresses the special challenge that can undermine anyone’s willpower—the irresistible lure of diet-busting dishes at festive occasions. His new book provides choices, putting a healthy twist on favorite entertaining meals for every occasion, whether it’s a family Christimas Eve dinner, a Thanksgiving feast, a Passover seder, a football fest in front of the TV, or a backyard barbeque with the neighbors.

Info/Order this book


About The Author

Patty Sachs

Patty Sachs is an event planning expert and author of these party-planning guides: "Weddings Parties & Celebrations', "52 Totally Unique Theme Parties" and "Don't Wait - Celebrate!" as well as . Patty is a consultant to the event and party industry, speaker and workshop presenter to thousands at conventions and industry events. She is a frequent media interview expert and performer in entertainment productions on special request. Visit her website at www.pattysachs.com.

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