Relax, It's Just a Holiday Party

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And just like that, the holidays are upon us. We see TV commercials with foyers full of people greeting and clinking wine glasses, we watch Diane Keaton movies directed by Nancy Meyers in which the kitchens look like the love children of Martha Stewart and Philip Johnson, and we start to agonize over the fact that we really, really promised ourselves that this year we would (finally) host a holiday gathering. But all those people! All that cooking! All that planning!

But we are going to entertain. And this is how’s it’s going to happen: an open house. It will not be a sit-down dinner for just a handful of friends or be a frenetic cocktail party. It will be a gentile stretch of time with people coming and going as they please. There'll be a serve-yourself bar with an array of (mostly) room temperature food, and it'll have a relaxed atmosphere in which people understand that the whole point was to connect for a little while, share a drink and enjoy something good to eat.

Everyone’s time is so stretched in the last months of the year. This kind of party allows people to stop by when it works for them and stay as long as they wish — and it allows you to host a lot of people in one day (i.e., knock off all those IOUs for the times you’ve been their guest) without cramming everyone into your house at once.

Check out our step-by-step guide to throwing an open house holiday party that’s as fun as it is stress-free — even for the host.

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