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Good Housekeeping
Updated: December 19, 2012 3:45 PM
8 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

'Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry, but sometimes playing hostess can feel more like a burden than a blessing. We asked the party pros for advice on how to throw the perfect soiree—headache-free!

Forget About Flaws (© Getty Images)
  • Forget About Flaws (© Getty Images)
  • Put Time on Your Side (© Getty Images/Vetta)
  • Know Who's Boss (© Getty Images)
  • Ditch the Complicated Sit-Down Menu (© Getty Images/StockFood)
  • Mix Up a Holiday Cocktail (© Getty Images)
  • Upgrade Your Buffet (© Getty Images/Cultura)
  • 'Twas the Night Before the Party (© Getty Images/Brand X)
  • Festive Fragrances (© Getty Images)
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Forget About Flaws

"Surrender the notion of the 'perfect' holiday," says Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., founder of The Stress Institute. Rather than focusing on shortcomings, think about what you can realistically handle this season and write it down. "I often prioritize a list with the top things I absolutely need, and then go down the checklist," says Hall. If you can host a dinner but don't have time to whip up homemade desserts, there's no shame in swinging by your favourite bakery.

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