Warm mugs of hot chocolate, soothing carols, and special times with family and friends -- this is the stuff of Christmas cheer. Yet all too often we drive ourselves crazy with the details, only to collapse on December 26th, wondering where all the cheer went.
Hosting a holiday gathering doesn't need to be about gourmet food and razzle-dazzle decorations. Take a softer approach. Start by planning your menu carefully -- these Make-Ahead Menus and Simple Sweet Feasts will allow you to enjoy your party as much as your guests.
If you insist on going all out in a cooking extravaganza, you'll appreciate these timesavers and shortcuts.
Sometimes a small party can be just as special as a big one. Consider paring down your guest list -- do you really need to invite the whole neighborhood? Create this intimate dinner instead. Your guests will love it, and so will you.