When it comes to holiday eats, do what works best for you, your event and your wallet. Suggest a holiday potluck dinner instead of the traditional host-serves-everything setup. Or, if you’re hosting a large crowd, have an open-house party with only drinks and appetizers.
Less is more
With hearty holiday foods, less really is more. Make dishes that are flavorful and filling—like rosemary mashed potatoes and bread pudding—and serve one festive beverage in bulk, such as mulled wine.
Put your food to work
Make your dishes pull double duty as both dinner and decoration. Fill a clear vase with apples and glitter-coated twigs for a quick and easy coffee table decoration, and use sprigs of evergreen from your yard as a garnish beside cakes and casseroles.
Use what you have lying around your attic as unique holiday décor. An old, cracked sled near the front door, or some worn mittens hanging from the mantel gives your home a cozy, custom feel. Have a decoration-making party the night before a big dinner and let the kids craft popcorn garlands and paper snowflakes for some added fun.
Make giving a game
Instead of buying expensive gifts, play white elephant with your family, including the older teens. Consider reserving Secret Santa for the younger kids, and be sure everyone follows the price limit for gifts.