RMM - Dec-20 - Jennifer Reiner

Another option is to play a recorded video of a fireplace on your tv. The crackling sound and warm glow will create a familiar feeling in your holiday guests. 2. Use a pop-up (fake) tree. These trees save so much time and effort compared to real trees. You don’t have to go out into the cold and transport them to your home. Plus, you don’t need to constantly water them, trim their branches or pick up fallen pine needles. While they cost more than real trees, they can also be used for a long time, and if you get one that comes fully decorated, you can just set it up and start enjoying it right away.

3. Project your lights. There are so many options for

projected lights these days that you might not even miss the kind that come in strands. You can project fun holiday designs like candy canes, snowflakes and gingerbread men strategically on different areas of your home. They even sell projectors that show looping footage you can project in a window so it looks like Santa is waving from your window. If you aren’t ready to commit to a fully projected lighting design, you can mix it up and use strand lights in easy-to-hang locations. Then, project your lights on higher up or less accessible areas. This way, you get the best of both worlds without spending hours on a ladder stapling cords. If you don’t want to worry about plugging in your lights every night, consider investing in a timer.

Will you stick to classic options like turkey or ham? Or will you go for something more outside the box like a grilled branzino? Ask your guests if they have any food restrictions or preferences, and plan accordingly. Make sure you have enough food to serve all of your guests, and consider that some people may want to take home leftovers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, desserts can be made or bought in advance. As we mentioned before, it’s OK to ask one of your guests to take care of dessert.

STEP 2: Plan out your menu. The meal you prepare is the centerpiece of your party. Don’t just decide which dishes you’ll serve as you wander the aisles of your local grocery store. Sit down ahead of time and write down all of the ingredients you’ll need for the recipes you’d like to prepare. Get input from your guests on what they’d like to eat, and see if anyone wants to bring a side or dessert.

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