Easter, Christmas, or any other large dinner party ordeal can be stressful for one cook to handle. Here are some suggestions to make the holiday a breeze for you, so you can also enjoy the holiday and be in the moment.

Damage Control

Prior to recruiting buddies and making cooking arrangements, there are a few things you can do to prevent accidents from further stressing you. First, you may want to walk around your home and put away any breakables and valuables. Bring out games for children to stay occupied and create an inviting environment for people to “hang out”. You might decorate the table and display drinking glasses. Buy ice. Chill a bottle of wine or be sure a variety of beverages are ready and available. Because dinner parties and extravagant holidays are a major contributor to plumbing issues, follow some of these guidelines to keep your pluming in proper working order. Purchase garbage cans with lids for the kitchen and all bathrooms. Most people flush or put items in the garbage disposal to send them away before their smell permeates the atmosphere. Sanitary napkins and even “flushable” wipes should not be sent down the plumbing, but may be out of embarrassment. Garbage cans with lids offer a safe place to put unwanted discards. Also equip each bathroom with a great scented product, a toilet brush, plunger, and an adequate, visible supply of extra toilet paper. If you do use your garbage disposal while cooking, be sure to turn it on frequently to keep it from clogging.

Recruit

Recruit the help of little ones. One or two children, 7-16 can be really helpful in carrying out little tasks that keep you in the kitchen monitoring your food. Children can set the table, entertain guests and give house tours, and serve appetizers.

Store-made Items

Pre-made desserts, appetizers, sides, anything you can get that won’t sacrifice quality but will save you time is extremely helpful. Your main priorities should be preparing and checking on the protein of the meal (which is traditionally ham or lamb), a casserole or two, and any other oven baked items.

Take Care of Yourself

The best holiday hosts are those who seem relaxed and are enjoying themselves as they do it. Make sure you have everything you could want and need for the day, including your favorite beverage, an outfit that you feel good in, and an apron. Sometimes aromatherapy can be helpful, if only used in times of stress. There are several essential oils you can choose from, often at the grocery store, that claim to relieve anxiety and stress. You can purchase one at the same time as all your other dinner items, and put some on a cotton ball or handkerchief to keep in your pocket on Easter Sunday!

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