5 Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining + Giveaway

This contest has officially ended. A huge New York thank you to all who participated, and congrats to our winner, HS! Stay tuned for more exciting UsedYorkCity.com giveaways!

With the holiday season comes a lot more entertaining, am I right?  Whether you’re hosting a full on dinner party or simply having friends over for a few festive cocktails, here’s a few tips that can make your holiday soirees a little more merry and a little less stressed.

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1. Keep Well Stocked

This time of year, I always try to have a few essential things on hand: bottles of wine + champagne, Bounty, and a go-to app such as cheese and crackers.  This way, you’re prepped for spur of the moment visitors, and also the cleanup that comes with.

2. 15 Minute Pick-Up

A big-ol’ cleanup before guests arrive can take the joy out of the experience, and let’s be real…coming from work, there’s just not always time.  So here’s my little trick: I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes, blast some Christmas music, and in that time run around like a crazy person cleaning the area of the house I know the guests will be in.  Meaning: kitchen/living room/bathroom get a proper clean, but I’m not so worried about the bedroom.  When the alarm goes off, I’m done.  You’ll be surprised at how much is accomplished!

3. Go-To Playlist

Spotify has taken the stress out of playlist creation (yay!), so now it’s as simple as typing in “Dinner Party” or “Christmas Cocktail Party”, and voila!  A fully stocked playlist of music, at your service.

4. Scented Candles

Probably my favorite gift to receive ever is candles.  Seriously, I go through them like nobody’s business.  Not only does it add a festive scent to the air (Pumpkin Spice + Fir Tree are staples this time of year), but also do wonders for ambiance.

5. Seasonal Outfit

Ok–I realize this tip is not going to be taken seriously by the fashionistas, and probably doesn’t apply to a big chunk of NYC women, but…here’s the thing.  If you’re going to be doing a lot of seasonal entertaining, you want a cute outfit.  I am trying super hard not to clutter my closet with things I will wear once, and to stick with garments that will get plenty of use (we’ll talk more about this in the new year!)  So at the beginning of the season I purchased a red plaid shift dress which has already been worn like, 7 times.  I also make sure to dry clean it immediately so it’s ready for the next wear.  Only downfall?  You’ll be in the same outfit in all your pictures:-)

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And a special holiday treat for our readers!  We’re partnering with P&G and hosting a giveaway valued at $55, including full-size P&G samples plus a $25 AMEX gift card!  Exciting right?!  Simply leave a comment below telling us your tips for prep or cleanup for your holiday parties.  Bonus points for tweeting out your response using the hashtag #NYTough (just be sure to tag us so we see, @UsedYorkCity.)

The giveaway will end on Christmas, and winners will be notified via email.  Best of luck!

xo,

Jess

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