Getting ready for holiday guests does not have to be stressful, expensive and time-consuming. Saving money or time on certain aspects of the gathering can allow you to invest more in other areas. Don’t let poor planning leave you stranded; join everyone else and revel in the joys of the season.
Make personal invitations. A personal phone call to invite your guests instead of sending out formal invitations will condition your guests for a more homely gathering. It will also save time and money in sending out paper invitations.
Decorate your home. Apart from the standard Christmas tree and tinsel, create a stunning centerpiece for the table featuring pine cones, candles and Christmas balls. Small details make a big difference and need not cost much time or money.
Choose a music playlist. Search online playlists (e.g. YouTube) to find the perfect mix of Christmas songs – traditional, instrumental or contemporary – to set the mood. If you're tech-savvy you can quickly make your own, otherwise just borrow somebody else's playlist.
Save time on food preparation. Serve simple two-ingredient appetizers to save room in guests’ tummies and save you time. You can also opt for a ready-made "homemade" dessert that allows you to add your own special touches and decoration. Invest the saved time in making a sophisticated main course and side dishes that will leave guests impressed and feeling full.
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