lpoFamily, parties, snow and let’s face it, stress. The holidays can easily become a time of overcommitted temporary insanity. For most of us, it comes with enough of the warm-fuzzies to make it worth the work we put into it. If you’re one of those super-prepared list makers that starts Christmas shopping in August, I stand in awe. At the end of every year I swear I’m going to start, but by the time the next season rolls around the chaos is long forgotten and it’s back to square one. Not this year though… I swear. It’s always a mad rush to get things decorated, baked, planned and executed. The holiday season just wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t running around in a state of near panic.

In an effort to stem at least some of the madness, I’ve gathered a few tips, tricks and pointers to help assemble some of our thoughts and plans into neat little numbered columns. Party planning, or even just attending can be one of the most stressful things we have to deal with, but with a few pointers from the pros, it might just be fun.

Don’t forget about finding a sitter for all of those holiday events. When your standby sitter is booked, who’s your safety? And if you don’t have a plan B, how do you go about finding someone you can trust? What about traveling with the family? No matter what mode of transportation you choose, it can be a chore, especially if the unexpected bump in the road (pardon the pun) pops up. You don’t want to be the one paying double for a plane ticket or the person stuck on the side of the road, and with a little planning, you won’t have to be.

Social faux pas of dress code violations, and choosing disappointing champagne (gasp!) can also be avoided, leaving you free to worry about the truly important things, like whether the cranberry sauce is better fresh or canned.
– Misty Kaiser