I can’t believe I’m already addressing the holidays, but they really are right around the corner. Sometimes, just hearing the word holiday can induce stress. There’s always so much to do, from cooking and cleaning to shopping and wrapping. It can be intense, but this year, I’m here to help you GSD (remember my motto?). While you may not think it’s possible, there are plenty of ways you can survive the holidays in style!

Hosting family, friends and colleagues can be overwhelming. And we put a lot of added burden on ourselves to make our events elegant and over-the-top. You want your party to be memorable, but it’s also not the time to prepare a rack of lamb if you’ve never made one before. You also don’t need to plan an 8-course tasting menu and make your own decorations. Who has time for that? 

I like to keep it simple yet sophisticated. Follow these tips and you’ll have everyone wondering how you got it all done!

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Elevate Everyday Meals
Stick with what you know. As I mentioned, now’s not the time to try a new lengthy recipe. Instead, think about your favorite dishes: pot roast, baked salmon, roasted chicken. Pick a go-to entrée and dress it up with fresh herbs, pomegranate seeds, lemon wedges or a homemade sauce, and serve it on a gorgeous platter. Just add simple sides and you’re good to go! 

Have a Back-Up Plan
Even the easiest of meals can go wrong. That roasted chicken you always make… what are you going to do if it burns? Have some alternate options stashed away. Suggestions: keep a family-sized pack of flounder on hand for an easy entrée swap. Put extra cheese and olives in the fridge just in case dinner is running late. And pop a carton of gourmet ice cream in the freezer to substitute a deflated soufflé. 

Skip the Decorations
You don’t need to go overboard and buy lots of decorations to adorn your party space. Let your food and drink act as the centerpiece. Elegant bottles of wine, a festive cocktail and well-plated hors d’oeuvres can take the place of holiday décor (that can actually clutter the table). I also love to light tapered candles just before serving dinner. 

Set the Tone
There’s nothing that creates a party atmosphere like music. So make a really great playlist that will last from cocktails to dinner to the after party. If you don’t have a lot of time, ask your guests to email you their favorite songs. This way, everyone will have a say in the music and you don’t have to spend a week creating the list. Just remember to keep the volume moderate, so the conversation can flow. 

Hire a Caterer 
Do you want to survive during the holidays or THIRVE during the holidays? You can skip the long lines at the grocery store, the hours prepping your meal and negate your cooking risk by letting me handle all of it for you. I’ll bring the perfect wine to complement your meal. I’ll even set the table and wash the dishes. Hire Deb Miley Dishes and make this your best and most stylish holiday season yet. 

Considering a Caterer? Download 5 Reasons You Should Keep Calm and Hire a Caterer and learn more about how I can help you thrive. Plus, receive a special gift when you book your party before 12/31/16!