When hosting holiday get-togethers, try to prepare ahead (and do less) so you can spend time with your guests.


Tis the season to be jolly. And our concept of jolly seems to be, “Consume lots now and pay for it later.”

No question, everything is so tempting during the holiday season. There are so many must-haves to purchase, so many delicious foods to eat — how could anyone resist?

Does moderation mean anything to anyone this time of year? I think not.

December and January are definitely busy months if you’re celebrating. People feel they have to deal with large-scale entertaining, huge shopping escapades and massive cleaning, decorating and organizing projects — not to mention major financial obligations.

Then in the New Year, when the reality of large credit card bills and snug-fitting pants hits, we make a list of resolutions that is virtually the opposite of the December list. Instead of consuming, we’ll pack up, downsize and shed some weight.

The good news is that you still have time to exercise some control over this holiday season, thus maximizing your enjoyment:

  • Stick to a reasonable budget for gifts, entertaining, party wear and incidentals.

  • Be healthy and enjoy your festive meals and drinks with a little moderation.

  • When entertaining, pre-plan your menu, preset your table and then enjoy your guests.

  • Believe it or not, less is more even at this holiday season.

  • Creative giving can be done with charitable donations in someone’s honour.

  • Festive decorating is always fun, but ensure you edit the items you no longer use anymore.

  • To-do lists are always a good idea. Write in a notebook to avoid loose bits of paper.

  • Organize your festive wardrobe and shop at home first.

  • Comfortable footwear is a must.

  • Be thankful for what you have.

And a special word of advice to all you holiday crafters out there: I know you’re busy crafting away just now, but you also need to get rid of all the old art kits and miscellaneous items that you haven’t used, and won’t use this decade.

Spend some quality time throughout the holiday editing your stash of excess supplies. Organizing them will be a great present to yourself.

Finally, stay at home on Boxing Day — but f you must go out, leave your wallet at home!