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Recipe for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

Recipe for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

(ARA)- Whether it's a family dinner for 10, or a holiday open house for 50, organization is the key to successful party planning. This holiday season, create a great party with more holiday cheer and less holiday stress.
Ginny Bean, publisher of Ginny's catalog and, shares these ideas for making sure everyone has a great time -- including you.
1. Plan ahead.
"Planning is daydreaming with a purpose," says Bean. "It's emotionally enjoyable, and the end result is a party made special by attention to detail."
She suggests taking inventory of cookware and serving pieces well in advance to ensure they're up to the task ahead. Among today's options is a growing array of cookware designed to go seamlessly and beautifully from oven or stovetop to even the most formal table, saving time and clean-up.
2. Make the most of your space.
The size of the meal may expand during the holidays, but cooking and serving space doesn't. Rachel Ray has an ingenious line of high-capacity, oval-shaped pots and pans that are perfect for preparing crowd-sized meals on a single burner. Ginny's double coffeemaker is another great holiday space-saver, brewing two 12-cup pots of coffee at once, so guests can choose between decaf or regular. On the buffet table, tiered servers hold appetizers and desserts vertically, rather than horizontally, saving valuable space and creating an attractive display.
3. Embrace the buffet.
The larger the group, the less practical sit-down meals become. Buffets are perfect for holiday entertaining, and a large-capacity buffet warmer is a party essential. The most versatile of these now come with individual serving compartments and a base that doubles as a warming plate. Consider creating multiple food stations in different rooms.
4. Decorate for the season.
Guests love to come into a home decked out for the holidays. Holiday decorating transforms stagnant rooms into fresh new spaces, providing as much of an emotional lift for host as guest. The trick is to avoid turning holiday decorating into a huge, stress-filled production. It doesn't take a lot of decorations to create a festive mood. A strategically placed wreath, some garland and seasonal candles can do the trick. Candles are perhaps the best bang-for-your-buck in all of holiday decorating. There's even an added bonus beyond the warming glow and seasonal scents: candlelight makes your guests look 10 years younger.
Ginny's holiday catalog includes 140 pages full of practical ideas for the home, kitchen and beyond, including appliances, house wares, furniture, bedding, accessories, personal care items, electronics, and a wide selection of gifts for men, women and children. There are also seasonal recipes and helpful tips on everything from setting a festive table to keeping children amused on holiday car trips. To request a copy of Ginny's catalog, log on to or call (800) 487-9024.

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