Just the other day, I was speaking to someone who was stressing about the holidays. You might say, “who doesn’t?” especially if you have overnight house guests on their way so you have a long to-do list not only for one meal, but multiple meals. If that isn’t enough, you may be feeling pressure to tidy your house in preparation. She commented that the stress was building, but she didn’t feel she could do anything about it until a few days before the arrival of guests. In actuality, you can start preparing now. Consider the drawers, closets, and pantry areas that a guest may access. Maybe now is a good time to clean out your linen closet so towels are folded neatly and ready for use. Consider adding shelf dividers so piles stay sorted. Do you have so many coats in your coat closet that there isn’t enough room for anything else. Weed out…If you are holding onto old coats but haven’t worn them in years consider donating them. There are plenty of coat drives and your coat could go to someone in need. From dry cleaners, coat retailers such as Burlington Coat Factory, organizations such as Salvation Army, and churches there are plenty of places to drop off coats you no longer wear and your guests won’t have to be greeted with chaos the second they open the door. Other to-do list items that can be done ahead: make guest beds, clean out a bureau drawer or two for them, leave soaps, travel shampoos and hair dryer in the guest bathroom, iron linens, polish silver, order flowers, buy non-perishable foods, candles, wine and centerpiece/decorations, and be sure you have a working oven thermometer.
Make meal prep lists and timeline. Planning goes a long way and the more prepared you feel, the less stress there will be so you can enjoy the holidays.