Are you hosting the holiday celebration this year? To prevent the hectic holidays from bringing out your inner Scrooge, it’s important for all good hosts to have a game plan. Here are a few tips for hosting a successful holiday dinner for friends and family.

  • Be prepared. Know how many people are coming, what food allergies or restrictions (if any) they have, and make sure you have plenty of space and food to accommodate everyone. Invite guests early so they can plan accordingly.
  • Keep it simple. Opt for easy-to-make appetizers, consider using some pre-prepared items, and forego the temptation to prepare an exquisite, gourmet meal, especially if you have a long guest list.
  • Set and stick to a budget. Create a plan of what you will need and how much you are willing to spend to prevent spending more than you can afford.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. Access your family and friends’ strengths, then invite guests to bring side dishes or desserts to alleviate some of your stress. Guests will like feeling like they contributed to the meal, plus you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
  • Think entertainment. Chances are the entire meal won’t be prepared when guests arrive, so plan games, movies and other activities while guests wait for the meal and afterward.
  • Enjoy! Minor setbacks (guests arriving late or a food item not turning out as planned) are sure to occur, but remember the holidays are a time for celebrating. Enjoying time with family and friends will surely make this holiday memorable — not the food that was prepared or decorations in your home.

Have you hosted a holiday dinner? What tips do you have for hosting success?