5 Fast Fixes for Stressful Situations You'll Face at Your Holiday Party

holiday family partyAs wonderful as the holidays can be, they're also a time of aggravation and frustration. Let's face it, hosting a gathering -- regardless of size -- can add a significant amount of stress. Should you encounter a common hosting headache, there are ways to deal.


Hopefully you won't find yourself in one of these situations, but if you do, try your best to keep calm and carry on. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly, right?

Here, five anxiety-causing situations you may find yourself up against while hosting a Christmas or New Year's party, and the winning solutions I personally swear by.

1. Unexpected/uninvited guests. Ooh, this one can get very awkward. You just set the table for a certain amount of friends and family. Now, you catch wind of someone you didn't plan for coming -- who also may or may not need a place to stay. Say what?!

Solution: Of course, you can give this person the hand (or the finger ... but that's probably not the best answer) and blow them off, but will that really help the situation? Rather than look at your guest as a freeloader, try to see things from his or her perspective. Maybe there aren't loved ones who live close by. Maybe this guest would spend the holidays alone, if it weren't for you. It's okay if you don't have room to offer a place to stay. Just be kind with your words, and let him or her know sooner rather than later.

Remember, it's the holidays.

2. Fear of running out of food. "OMG, I don't think this spread will be enough for all these people!" All of us have been here: You look at your recipe's serving amount, look at your guest list, and look back at the food you have to work with.

Solution: One thing you can do ahead of time is request a response, or RSVP (you can add 10 percent to your numbers for unexpected guests). At least this will give you an idea of how many people to expect. Should you not feel like running back and forth to the store, you can always serve certain dishes appetizer-style, to ensure there's enough for everyone.

Just take a breath. This is an easy fix.

3. No space. Whether you enjoy Pinterest or not, there's a good chance you have a vision of how you want your holiday table to look. Too bad you don't have the room to see it to fruition. Not having enough room for all your guests to dine and enjoy themselves in one place can be very stressful to a host.

Solution: Obviously, you can't snap your fingers and magically make your place bigger. Thankfully, there are spatial solutions -- like using a bar cart to serve, and taking items off the dining room table to make things more casual.

4. Something breaks. Your oven stops working. The toilet gets clogged. A wonderful guest and/or a child accidentally break an item in your home. Why the heck can't anything go right?!

Solution: Okay, so situations like these suck, but they aren't the end of the world. As with life, there will come a point when you have to adjust and adapt. You can fix the toilet. If your oven doesn't work, try to use someone else's -- or order takeout (certain places will be open). Having something break in your house really does suck, but make the decision to focus on that at a later time (if you can).

Things won't always go according to plan, which is why it's important to keep your attention on the reason for the season: loved ones and celebrating another year.

Laughter can take you far.

5. Low on finances. No matter how much of a wonderland you try to make the holiday season, nothing can be a Grinch more than finances.

Solution: Just because you want to have the best holiday ever doesn't mean it has to cost a million bucks. There are tons of families who create fond memories without spending a ton of cash. Whether you take the community route (there's nothing wrong with potluck gatherings), scale back on the number of guests, or make the decision not to host a get-together, remember you aren't a horrible person for wanting to take the pressure off yourself -- or for asking for help, should you feel you need it.

More from CafeMom: 7 Ways to Overcome Being Completely Anxious in Social Situations

No matter what you do, try to relax and enjoy yourself. Bask in the thought of being away from work, catching up on rest, and spending days off with the people who fill your heart. These bumps in the road can and sometimes will creep up. So long as you do your best to try to stay positive, you just might have a happy holiday.


Image via iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

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