Stress Free Holiday Entertaining - Autism Mom Blog

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining

Trend reports tell us home entertaining is on the rise. Parents are busier than ever, but don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to create memorable moments for their children, friends and family. To make that special connection that only comes when entertaining in your home.

So what if you, your friends or family are entertaining challenged, strapped for time, money or short or inspiration.

We’ve discovered Memorable Entertaining, a unique online, one-stop resource, that pulls together all the elements you will need — whether hosting a kid’s party, a casual get together for friends, a holiday gathering for family or a romantic dinner for that special someone in their lives.

For only $6.25 per month ($5.41 between now at December 25, 2009) you have access to over 50+ centerpiece ideas, 40+ tablescapes, seasonal menus with downloadable grocery lists, how-to videos plus much, much more. Fresh ideas are added weekly.

It’s like having your very own ‘Entertaining Coach’ available to you 24/7!

Debra Kavalos-Delaney, creator and owner of, shares some quick and easy tips to help make your holiday entertaining stress free, whatever your budget or experience as a host or hostess.

The holidays are a busy time. Send invitations out 4 to 6 weeks in advance.

Select a combination of make-ahead appetizers that can be frozen or made one to two days in advance. (We have a section devoted to ‘Make Ahead Appetizers’ & check out our ‘Time Savers’ section for pre-made foods that give you the option of choosing foods that require little or no preparation.)

Opt for one-meal dishes, such as stews, pot roasts, pastas. This eliminates the need for multiple side dishes. One-meal dishes have an added plus because most can be made a day in advance and taste better! (View full menus with downloadable grocery lists.)

Pair your one-meal dish with a stand out salad, which acts as your vegetable.

Bake holiday goodies that will last the season, such as peanut brittle, fudge, toffee, ginger snaps and biscotti. Most cookies or cookie dough can be stored in the freezer up to 6-months.

Out of town guests: Set up a ‘breakfast bar’ before you go to bed. Include mugs, plates, bowls, napkins, sugar, tea bags, hot chocolate packets, jellies, cereals and packets of instant cereal. All you have to do in the morning is turn on the coffee pot and put out a selection of breads, such as muffins, bagels, English muffins, etc. and pitchers of milk and juice. Let your guests serve themselves. (See our section on preparing for ‘Houseguests’.)

Create holiday centerpieces with versatility in mind. Opt for centerpieces that can remain on your dining room and kitchen tables throughout the holiday entertaining season and complement both formal and informal table settings. . (View 50+ Centerpiece ideas and over 40 tablescapes under ‘The Elegant Table’ on our web home.)

Use fruits, vegetables, nuts, pinecones, feathers or different sized glass cylinders filled with holiday ornaments.

Preserve holiday greenery: soak overnight, re-cut stems, use a mixture of one-part glycerin, one-part water to keep greens pliable, avoid direct sunlight, place away from heat ducts and mist lightly with water. Spray greens with an anti-transpirant to seal in moisture. Select greens such as Western Cedar and Fir, which hold up better over time.

Between now and December 25, 2009 Learning Felt readers can enjoy $10 off a First Year Membership or Gift Membership. Use code 23997299.

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