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Simple holiday hospitality

Holiday season can be a perfect storm of work pressure, social commitments, and entertaining.  The trick to keeping your cool will be planning and preparation.

Perform a deep clean of your house immediately.  Rake your leaves, winterize your house and garden, clean everything from the ceiling fans to the floor boards.  Then create a cleaning schedule – one room per day will make cleaning a breeze.  Finally, keep everything picked up and put back in its place.  If you have unexpected company, your house will be ready.

Keep your pantry well-stocked – coffee, tea, sugar, crackers, cookies.  Your fridge should have milk, cream, cheeses, crudites and dip.  You won’t have to make any last minute trips to the grocery store to entertain friends.  If you make holiday cookies, make an extra batch and freeze the dough in portioned shapes.  You can bake a fresh batch of cookies without having to leave your guests cooling their heels.

Get a jump on buying presents.  Buy a generic gift or two and wrap them without a name.  If you need an unexpected present in a hurry, you have one ready to go.

Take your party clothes to the dry-cleaners or buy yourself a new outfit now.  Then keep them in the closet ready to go.  Shine your shoes, polish your jewelry, practice your hair and make-up.

Make a list of everything you need to do this holiday season and then assign each task a day.  Keep to your schedule and don’t allow things to pile up.  You’ll be done before you know it.

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