10 Secrets to De-Stress Your Holiday, Part 3

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1. Make-ahead meals and no cooking required appetizers
2. Planning a workable menu and advance preparation
3. Decorate for less
4. Setting up for success
5. Get what you really need

This time of year, it is easy for spending to get out of control. I always want to have the best experiences but am constantly looking for the best deals or ways to get a little more value with the least amount of effort. This week’s holiday entertaining secrets are all about creating that WOW factor for less — decorating for less and making your place look great with the least amount of work. Check out the other secrets to de-stress your holiday here:

Make-ahead meals and no cooking required appetizers
Planning a workable menu and advance preparation

Simple decorating for centerpieces

5. Simple Decorating for Centerpieces

Fill clear vases with a variety of inexpensive items you may even already have: extra ornaments, ribbons, candles, even candy. If you want flowers, think floating a single bloom, a tight bouquet of one bloom like carnations or even spruce tips. Choose clear vases that can be used for multiple uses any time of year and change the colors of the contents to go with the occasion/season.

  extra ornaments for easy centerpieces

(Use extra ornaments for easy centerpieces)

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wine glasses are perfect simple vases

(Think outside the box, these wine glasses are perfect simple vases)

I also love decorating with food. It lasts longer than flowers and we can usually enjoy it to look at and then eat it later.

Decorating with food

(Decorating with food)

De-Stress Your Holiday

(Decorating with food)

easy flower arrangements

(a single bloom makes for easy flower arrangements)

bloom

(floating one large bloom like spider mums, Gerber daisy, sun flowers or open roses are also a good way to decorate with flowers for less)

6. Add Interest to Your Buffet

Think of the buffet as a roller coaster.  If it is all flat it is not very fun or interesting. Add a few varied heights to show off the beautiful food. Footed platters and warming dishes are easy to add height. For regular platters, I love using empty egg cartons as risers. They are inexpensive, readily available and sturdy.  Just cover them with an extra napkin or go to the fabric store and get some remnants that match your colors.

Be sure to test each platter if you have it on risers to make sure it is sturdy with people grabbing food off of it. Large or delicate items, leave on the table. Not everything has to be lifted, just raise one to three items to add visual interest for the table.

empty egg cartons

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