No, it’s not time for Christmas. But even holidays like the Fourth of July can be overwhelming for those trying to make it a fun and special day for family and friends. So since the Fourth is coming right up, we thought we’d give some pointers on how to make it a stress-free holiday. After all—this is an important celebration as we commemorate our fine country’s birthday.
The first suggestion I’d give is to PLAN well and plan in advance. Nothing produces stress more than being unprepared and last-minute attempts to pull something together can be challenging at best and a disaster at worst. If it’s a meal or party you’re planning, think of all the people who will most likely come and assume they will. Plan to have plenty of food so you don’t stress about not having enough (been there, done that). If the gathering is at your house, start getting the place cleaned up and organized hours in advance. You don’t want guests arriving when you’re still wiping off the table or vacuuming the floor.
If you have willing family members or friends, DELEGATE so that you don’t get overloaded by doing everything yourself. Assign out food to bring (and be specific), such as hot dog and hamburger buns, potato salad, a pail of ice cream, or whatever you plan to have. Besides making assignments, if anyone offers to do or bring something, just say “yes”! Trust me—you’ll appreciate it later when it’s time for the party and you’ve got some help.
Remember to SIMPLIFY. Sometimes less is more, right? If you like to have decorations, don’t go overboard. Use what you have and possibly grab some streamers or balloons at the grocery store if you’d like. Most people pay much more attention to what’s going in their mouth than the red, white and blue napkins they’re wiping it with. Use paper or plastic cups, plates and utensils, and even disposable table cloths so clean-up is easy.
And overall, let yourself HAVE FUN! Relax. Go with the flow. Manage your expectations. If you expect the food to be perfect, no spills, everyone on time and no change in plans then at the end of the day you’ll probably be disappointed. Holidays are for celebrating and celebrations are supposed to be happy events! Let loose and allow yourself to enjoy the time with family and friends in the comfort of your home!