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.
It's just not Christmas without lots of lights, glowing candles, and of course, a Christmas tree. And if you're hosting a party, you want your house to look and feel like Christmas. Here's how to do it in three easy steps.
1. Start with the lights. Skip the tangled strings and electrical engineering with these elegant solutions for outdoor Christmas lighting.
2. Little touches. Spread the Christmas cheer throughout your home with these artful arrangements -- you can find everything you need in your own home.
3. Your favorite things. Displaying mementos of Christmases past, like your family stockings and special photos, adds a touch of warmth to every room.
Most of us tend to overindulge during the holidays, and then we feel guilty later. So what's the solution? Try healthier food. You can boost the nutrition in your holiday dinners and cut back on the fat and calories with these light dishes.
Try these low-carb menus for your diet-conscious guests.
Drinks and appetizers are the places where people indulge the most. These recipes are lighter, but still just as delicious, so they don't have to watch their portions.
If you're bringing food to a party, you'll want to check out these tips to transport foods safely. The change in temperature from oven to outside could be disastrous.
You've tried your best, but you just couldn't say no to that second piece of chocolate cake, or the extra serving of Christmas ham. Here's some help recuperating.
This is the part where you settle in on the couch in front of a blazing fire with a warm mug of hot chocolate and those soothing Christmas carols in the background. No time? Use these tips to streamline your Christmas activities, so you'll actually have time to enjoy the season.
It's easy to get carried away by the spirit of giving -- most everybody does it. This quiz will help you find out if you're going overboard. And then see if your indulging habits are affecting your kids.
If you think holiday mall-walking should become an Olympic sport, it's time for you to change your gift-buying strategy. Start shopping online -- sites like Amazon.com and eBay are reputable and have great customer service. And most of your favorite retailers have easy-to-use and reliable Web sites too, like Target, The Gap, Sears, and others.
Or consider making some gifts. Special people like teachers, close neighbors, and your letter carrier will appreciate a home-baked goodie from you. Try these simple food gift ideas.
If you've got a tight holiday budget, and even if you don't, making crafts for family and friends is a good solution. These beautiful ornaments will look great on anyone's tree -- and they're easy, too.
Whether you're traveling to your in-laws or hosting Christmas Day in your own home, there's bound to be some tension. Here's what you can do to keep your cool through the chaos.
When you're divorced, remarried, or a stepparent, celebrating the holidays comes with its own set of stresses. Find out how to make a smooth transition into new family traditions.
The holidays are a time for celebrating our families, friends, and life in general. Giving thoughtful gifts, baking delicious foods, decorating our homes -- these are all the ways we express our love and appreciation for each other. This year, take the time to focus on the people you love, and keep the rest of it simple. You'll have a healthy holiday all around.