6 Must-Do Tasks for Surviving Holiday Party Season

There's no reason the most wonderful time of the year should leave you burned out.
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Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

We love getting the most out of this celebratory time of year, but phew! All that holiday cheer can take a lot out of you. Factor in just a little more pre-planning (it will pay off, we promise) and self-care; you’ll enjoy the season even more.

A small handmade gift is always thoughtful — and often cost-effective, since you can make a bunch of gifts at once with just a few materials. Whip up a batch of kumquat limoncello, cranberry vinegar or Ina Garten’s white chocolate lollipops and you’ll never have to worry about showing up to a fete empty-handed.

Commit to some ground rules.

If parties tend to leave you totally spent, a few guidelines can make the after-effects more manageable. For instance: After every cocktail, you must reach for a glass of water. Go to bed a little earlier on off-nights (a nice indulgence, really). And no uncomfortable shoes, no matter how sparkly they are. You’ll thank us later.

Giada de Laurentiis's Goji Berry Trail Mix as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

One cannot survive December on cheeseboards alone. To avoid reaching into a fridge full of party leftovers (" Take the deviled eggs! Really, take them!") on a Tuesday morning, stock up on more healthful options you can easily grab. Giada De Laurentiis’ Goji Berry Trail Mix is sweet and savory, and just handful will give you a boost of energy.

Food Nework Kitchen's 10 Easy Cheese Dips, Opener

Photo by: Kate Mathis ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kate Mathis, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Memorize our creamy base recipe, and you’ll be able to make a delicious dip out of almost whatever is in your pantry. Then, the next time a host asks you to bring a dish, raise your hand for a dip platter that you can literally put together in minutes.

Block some "me time" on your calendar.

We’re all overscheduled during this bustling season, but scheduling some time for yourself can be a happy respite in the middle of the month. Mark it on your calendar so you have to keep the “appointment,” and use the time to decompress — go for a walk (not through a mall), read a book or catch up on your DVR.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015

The holidays leave less time for everyday cooking, so when you do have time to make a home-cooked meal, make it count. Our double recipes for meatballs, soups and more use your kitchen time wisely — and they reheat beautifully.

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