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Entertaining Holiday Guests

A group toasting with wine glasses at a festive dinner party

The holidays are a magical time of year, but that extra holly jolliness doesn't come without an incredible amount of stress. Aside from busier stores, more traffic to deal with and trying to find the right gift for everyone, planning a Christmas get-together can be an anxiety inducing venture whether you're entertaining a couple of friends in your bungalow or hosting an extravagant event at the luxury apartments in Northridge.

It doesn't have to be, though. Believe it or not, you can throw the ultimate holiday party while keeping your sanity intact by following these simple steps.

Perfect is a Relative Term

The number one mistake people make when planning a party is thinking that it has to be perfect. In reality, the spirit of the holiday doesn't call for a buffet of homemade desserts and expensive cocktails. Rather, it's about company and fellowship.

Let any shortcomings or flaws fall to the wayside, and focus on what you can realistically handle by making a list. Then, prioritize which items on the list are absolutely essential to entertaining your guests. What do you have left towards the bottom of the list? Those are things you don't need to sweat.

For instance, desserts from your favorite bakery will be just as scrumptious to your guests as a homemade pie. Maybe lightening up on the amount of decorations would ease your tight schedule, allowing your home to make due with lights and a wreath or two. This gives you less to run yourself ragged over.

It's All in the Timing

Another top stress inducer is the fear of running out of time. Most people find themselves frantically running around to finish preparations in the days prior to their event, when they should be starting as early as possible. Do yourself a favor by spreading your party planning out over the course of a few weeks, checking one item off of your list every day.

Creating this kind of schedule eases the burden of pulling everything together while still fitting planning tasks around your schedule. There's nothing wrong with decorating weeks ahead of time, or grocery shopping days in advance.

Get Bossy

Have a spouse, significant other, or children? Chances are they'll be enjoying the fruits of your labor come party time, so why not put them to work? Putting everything together all by yourself adds a lot of stress to the planning process. So, get bossy and ask for helping hand.

Skip the Five Course Meal

Creating a bountiful feast for your guests is an incredible time investment for everyone involved, not to mention costly. Keep the party vibe free and loose by skipping the multi-course meal. Instead, create a selection of cocktail foods and desserts that they can eat at their leisure throughout the event.

If you absolutely need something with a little more sustenance, opt for catering and prepared dishes. All you have to do is ditch the store-bought packaging and place the items on festive plates to create that holiday feng shui. You can also choose to go the extra mile by sprinkling nutmeg on your desserts, because fanciness is next to holiday-iness.

A Buffet of Wonders

When creating the buffet your guests will pick items from, make it an interactive one with several stations. This creates movement and encourages mingling while letting guests pick and choose a combination of tasty delights. Stick with a few cheeses, a few meats, and two breads. Unless, of course, you're throwing a vegan holiday party.

Make One Drink

If you don't mind playing bartender all night or wracking up a hefty bill at the liquor store, then buying individual spirits for your guests is the way to go. If you would prefer to save yourself the stress and hassle, then why not just mix up a holiday cocktail?

Sangria and Eggnog are instant party-pleasers, not mention a breeze to whip up. You can make large batches of these drinks, then serve them in a chilled punch bowl on ice. Nothing says, "Wow! This party is great!" quite like a strong, signature cocktail.

The Night Before

Finally, you can make the day of hassle free by setting everything up the night before. Rearrange your furniture, pull out extra seating, restock the restroom and set all of the plates out. The only thing you'll have to do before guests start arriving is pull our your pre-made cocktail and cocktail trays.

Bonus Tip: Fragrances

Skip the overpriced candles and opt for DIY smells with items right from your kitchen. Not only will they smell more natural and festive, your guests will consider you a master of party planning. Here are a few key items to mix together:

  • Sliced citrus fruits with cinnamon sticks, place inside of a bowl in the bathroom
  • Apple slices with clove spice, placed in a bowl around the dining room
  • Pinecones and cinnamon sticks, also in a bowl but this time in the gathering area
  • Throw some fresh pine needles into the fireplace, also with cinnamon sticks

Luxury Apartments Northridge

Looking to keep your life just as stress-free throughout the rest of the year? Then experience a new way to live at Alder. This collection of brand new Northridge apartment homes offers its residents modern interiors complete with designer-selected finished and signature styles. Crafted with comfort and designed with a variety of lifestyles in mind, there's something here for everyone.

Spacious floor plans feature 9 to 11 foot ceilings, hard wood-style flooring and plush bedroom carpeting. Quartz countertops are accentuated by stainless steel appliances, while walk in closets and full sized washer/dryer combos deliver the touches that create a feeling of home. Step out on the balcony for a serene view of the mountains, reduce your carbon footprint with smart building technology, and relax after a long day with an oversized soaking tub.

Resort-style amenities are abundant throughout the community from a lap pool surrounded by cabanas and fire pits to a state-of-the-art fitness center. Find you inner peace in the sun-drenched yoga studio, entertain guests in the expansive lounge, or treat your pet to a day of pampering with dog was and grooming salon.

Welcome to a new way to live. Welcome to Alder.