Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining Ideas

Thank you to AVA Grace Vineyards for sponsoring this post. All thoughts, writing & styling are my own. 

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner! The holidays can be a time of stress for a lot of people, myself included. Between trying to figure out holiday plans, making sure everything is perfect and scooting from place to place, it can be exhausting and stress inducing! This year I am determined to have a stress-free holiday season. Today AVA Grace Vineyards is sponsoring this post about how I plan to have a stress-free holiday season!1. PLAN AHEAD | This year I am working on planning as much as I can in advance. For me, it helps to know what’s on my calendar and when I have plans, whether I’m attending a party or hosting one! I am a planner by nature, so knowing that I have plans helps me figure out what I need to bring, if I need to make anything, etc.2. HAVE “GO TO” DISHES | Whether you’re hosting or attending a holiday party that requires you to bring a dish, make sure you have a “go to” dish that you can readily make! I always reference my favorite cookbooks (The Southerner’s Cookbook by Garden & Gun, The Newlywed Cookbook from Williams-Sonoma, and Two in the Kitchen) to get recipes that I know everyone will love! A few of our favorite “go to” dishes around the holidays include sausage balls or sausage dip, pimento cheese dip, pasta salads, or sweet potato casserole!

3. ALWAYS HAVE WINE ON HAND | If you’re hosting a party, chances are you’ll need to stock up on wine and other beverages for your guests! Around the holidays we like to keep our wine rack stocked with an assortment of wines should we have guests over! We have been loving wines from AVA Grace Vineyards lately! Nick and I love reds and red blends, and the red blend by AVA Grace is delicious. This medium-bodied red has a great hint of spice and notes of berries, making it a great wine to pair with a lot of holiday dishes! If you’re not a red wine drinker, then you may enjoy the Ava Grace Sauvignon Blanc. It is light-bodied and has more tropical fruit flavors. These are great wines to keep in your wine rack all holiday season! Plus, they make great hosting gifts too 😉4. DECORATE FOR THE OCCASION | No holiday party is complete without a little holiday decor! I don’t think you have to go all out when entertaining, but adding a few touches (like these cute pumpkins!) make the party feel a bit more festive! A few easy, affordable decorations include eucalyptus leaves, candles and ornaments in a centerpiece vase!

5. ASK FOR HELP | Let’s face it, whether you’re prepping dishes or getting your home ready for a full house, you can’t get it all done by yourself! Don’t be afraid to ask your significant other, your kids, or your friends for help if you need it! It makes the process a little less stressful and a lot more fun! If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of cooking a whole meal for a large party, ask your guests to bring a side or dessert! It takes some of the pressure off of you and you’ll get a great variety of items.

 

I would love to hear your holiday traditions and how you plan on making your holiday season stress free!

Leave a Reply

12 Comments

  1. Beth wrote:

    We don’t live near family so holidays are quiet and stress free! After so many years of running around trying to do everything and see everyone, it is a welcome change to be able to just relax and enjoy the holidays stress free!

    Posted 11.21.18 Reply
  2. lyddiegal wrote:

    I love your simple decor, the white and gold pumpkins are darling, and you can never go wrong as long as there is plenty of wine on hand!

    Posted 11.21.18 Reply
  3. Totally agree with your go-to dishes recommendation. Last time we hosted, I tried a new dish and it did NOT go well 🙁

    Posted 11.21.18 Reply
  4. Mollie wrote:

    I hear ya, the holidays can be so stressful! We’re hosting Thanksgiving in London tomorrow so I’m basically losing my mind about now lol. We will definitely have lots of wine on hand 😉

    xx Mollie

    Posted 11.21.18 Reply
  5. Candace wrote:

    Number 2 and 3 are life!! lol My grandma always has the busiest day ever every holiday, but not me. I like to be relax and those days. I hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

    Posted 11.21.18 Reply
  6. I definitely always have wine on hand!! That was actually the first thing I set out to take to my parents today! Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Posted 11.22.18 Reply
  7. Kelsey wrote:

    I loveee your decor! so simple and elegant!

    Posted 11.23.18 Reply
  8. Anna English wrote:

    Great tips Emily! I agree, WINE and lots of it, is always a must have! ha.

    Posted 11.24.18 Reply
  9. Always having wine on hand is so true!! I need to get better at that now that Coop and I have a place where we can host lots of people!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    Posted 11.26.18 Reply
  10. steph wrote:

    great post! I hate that hosting for the holidays can be stressful when there is so much joy that it should bring!

    Cheers,
    Steph
    @stephnweber|trendyinindy@gmail.com

    Posted 11.26.18 Reply
  11. Jessica wrote:

    Love your table set up! And I ALWAYS have wine for a dinner party. And back ups as well!
    xo Jessica

    Posted 11.26.18 Reply
  12. Kristina wrote:

    Having wine on hand is a MUST!! We entertain a lot so we always try to keep a variety of drinks in our wine/liquor cabinet!

    Posted 11.28.18 Reply

follow along with me | @emilynwilkinson

  • Weekend plan: find Bernadette! 🕶💁🏼‍♀️🌍🎬so beyond thrilled that Where’d You Go Bernadette is officially in theaters TODAY! 🎉 last month I jetted off to Toronto thanks to @bernadettefilm for a once in a lifetime experience. We got to go to an advanced screening of #WheredYouGoBernadette followed by a Q&A with #RichardLinklater and the cast of the movie. It was truly fascinating hearing them talk about @mariasemple’s book to movie adaption, how they related to #Bernadette & all the filming details! I think I’m still reeling from being in the same room as these talented people! And yes, I totally fan girled over meeting & chatting with @sleepinthegardn (PLL FAN 4 LYFE!) 😂

If you loved the book, be sure to see the movie! And if you haven’t read the book yet, definitely add it to your shelf! 📚 #enwreads They did an incredible job adapting this book and maintaining the essence of Bernadette’s witty, exotic character! I think you’ll find yourself relating to Bernadette in *some* way throughout the movie! I loved it - I laughed, I teared up & it’s full of heartwarming moments! Huge thanks to @bernadettefilm for the wonderful weekend in #Toronto! 💙[ad] #cateblanchette #bernadettefilm #troianbellisario
  • We’re one day away from the weekend! 🎉🙌🏻 this late summer look is on the blog today & I’m chatting about how to transition both pieces into fall! 💙 to shop this look you can head to lifewithemilyblog.com or follow me in the @liketoknow.it app, just search emilynwilkinson http://liketk.it/2EbrB #liketkit #LTKunder100 #LTKstyletip #madewell #madewellnc
  • Looking for a great book to add to your reading list?! 📚 Don't worry, I've got ya covered with a new book called #AmericanRoyals! 👸🏻@katharinemcgee’s latest book is one that will suck you right in with a new royal family... and they're located in the USA! 🇺🇸You'll be enthralled with the royals, the scandals, and their family drama! This book publishes on September 3rd, but you can pre-order it now (link in my stories!) and if you submit your receipt you'll get a free tote with your pre-order purchase!  @getunderlined #getunderlined [ad]
-
-
US Residents 13+. Ends 9/2/19. See terms at bit.ly/2OqHxz0
  • Happy Monday, friends! 💓 Let’s start the week out right and spread a little kindness, starting with teachers! 👩🏼‍🏫 It’s August which means it’s back-to-school season, so I’ve teamed up with some other influencers to help #clearthelists for teachers and I hope you’ll join me! 📕✏️🖍📌📎📖💌 Please tag any teachers that are underfunded & desperately in need of supplies below. I have a teacher that I’m featuring on my IG Stories & you can see more lists on  @natsnextadventure @ashleyspivey @brooklynblonde1 @lipglossandcrayons 
@katiemcrenshaw @lombardandfifth @girlgonechildinnyc @audreymcclellan @dreamingofhomemaking @the_rusticpallet @twindollicious @mellycoy @graceinthecrumbs @sarajanemercer and @mamacoaster. We all love and appreciate our teachers, let’s show them how much! 🍎#BloggersforBetter
  • It’s the weekend! 🎉🙌🏻💙 planning on having a low key weekend & catching up on reading after a crazy week! These were a few of my favorite reads from July! I HIGHLY recommend #MrsEverything & #CityofGirls 📚(all my book reviews are on the blog - link in bio!) http://liketk.it/2DSVd #enwreads
  • To be completely honest, today has been a shit show 🤦🏼‍♀️ My morning started off at 3:15 with a sick pup & continued snow balling until about 5:00 this evening. Some days just get the best of ya & today our animals got the best of me and Nick🤣 luckily they’re both ok 🐶🐱 but man, today was rough and stressful! The highlight of my day was meeting @_happygocurly_ for coffee while she was in town this AM! ☕️ We have never met, but had been friends online for years!  It was like grabbing coffee with an old friend! 👯‍♀️ chin up friends, the weekend is *almost* here!
-
Shop my outfit by clicking the link in my bio or by following @emilynwilkinson in the @liketoknow.it app http://liketk.it/2DREY #liketkit #LTKunder100 #LTKunder50

Follow Me @emilynwilkinson