Spice Up Your Holidays • Holiday Tips & Tricks


Are the jingle bells ring-a-linging in your ears a little too loudly lately? Are you dreaming of a warm beach and an icy margarita, far away from to-do lists, menu planning and perfect Martha Stewart-esque decorating? Well, sit back and relax if you’ve got a moment to spare. I’ve got some tips to keep your holiday hosting easy and stress-free!

Stock Photo

•  Take it easy on yourself. There’s no such thing as perfect food, drinks or decor, so take the pressure off. And, have you ever walked into a party expecting anything? Didn’t think so.

•  Organize in advance. Take stock of what you’ve got (serveware, food, drinks), buy what you need, and cook what you can in advance. Look at your home as if you were a guest – where would you want to grab a plate, make a cocktail, sit and chat?

•  Get help. No, this is not a prescription for the therapist’s sofa… Just round up a few more helping hands. Ask a friend to get the door while you serve drinks. Get your uncle passing around some appetizers. Or, make it really easy and host a potluck – it’s up to you!

•  Set the mood. Soft candles, jazzy music, cozy places to lounge, and space to mingle are instant mood-makers. No need to be showy or over-the-top. Just make your guests feel comfortable and welcome.

Enjoy your own party. Make yourself a plate of nibbles, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy yourself for goodness sakes! Just be your lovely laidback self and your guests will have a blast.

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

Also, I have a big announcement to share!

Along with ten other talented bloggers, I was chosen by Captain Morgan to enter their “Spice Up The Holidays” contest celebrating the season. For the contest, I am creating three new drink, appetizer and dessert recipes using their spiced rum, and rounding up some friends to enjoy the festive treats with me! I’ll reveal the delicious menu next week, but here’s a sneak peek of each… any guesses?

Drink, Appetizer and Dessert

One winning blogger will receive goodies from Captain Morgan and Food Network, along with a generous $1000 donation to the charity of their choice (here’s mine). Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn will be judging.

It was a treat to speak with him personally last week!

Spike Mendelsohn

So, now that you’ve got my best tips, it’s time to hear yours!

In the comments section, or on my Facebook page, please feel free to share with me your best tips for easy entertaining, gotta-have holiday recipes, and anything else that keeps your holidays fun, festive and fuss-free!

Join the Conversation

  1. Keep it simple and don’t sweat the small stuff.

  2. thanks for the great advice– i would add something to the get help piece. most of our holiday get togethers are pot luck style and people sign-up in advance…it takes some of the pressure off for me to do everything!

  3. Every year, I host a Christmas cookie exchange with friends. Everyone brings a few dozen cookies, and we swap! It is a great way to relax and enjoy some Christmas cheer with friends, and everyone leaves with so many delicious cookies that it makes Christmas baking even easier. Plus, cookies freeze well!

  4. Great tips to keep the stress of the season low. Good luck on the Captain Morgan contest.

  5. When hosting a party or dinner always remember to keep it simple. You do not want to be stuck in the kitchen all night, make sure you have time to spend with your guests. Make clean up easy, do as you go. When serving any alcholic beverages make sure to have lots of finger food to eat, there is nothing worse than that one drunk who wants to ruin the evening (by the way that’s not me!).LOL

  6. Looks like you are going to have some fabulous food and drink! Have a fun party!

  7. Congrats Georgia! How fun :) I can’t wait to see the recipes you come up with.

  8. I wish all of us could attend each other’s parties. What fun!

  9. Congratulations. Dinner parties are so much fun and not so many folks do them anymore….I will use some of your tips when I have my next hoedown!

  10. I love these tips! I am hosting a Christmas dinner in a few weeks and I’m already stressing – so the first tip is the most important for me right now :) Happy holidays!

  11. ——It is really rushed around christmas time and my mum is always cooking big dinners and inviting everyone over christmas night and never Gets to sit down and enjoy her own dinner and these recipies will help her a lot thanx for tha great tips :))——-
    Happy holidays!

  12. great tips! thanks

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