31 No-Stress Holiday Entertaining Tips

No need to run yourself ragged over the holidays. Try these tips for simple, elegant holiday entertaining.
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Prioritize holiday fun

Before the holiday season hits in all its frenzied glory, map out your holiday survival agenda. "Think of holiday expectations in terms of concentric circles," says Hanks. "In the center are your own preferences, the next ring is your partner's expectations, then your children's, and, finally, your extended family's." Give more weight to relationships that are under your direct care rather than those of your family of origin, extended family, or your neighbors or friends, she says. Apply this rule to everything—from where you celebrate, the events you attend, the gift-giving rules you follow, even the food you serve. "Only do what truly gives you and your family pleasure," Hanks says.