Try Buffet Style for Your Holiday Party

#Holiday parties benefit from a buffet, The Shop Edit says. Not only does it allow guests to get up and move around, you can offer customizable, do-it-yourself dinner selections such as a baked potato bar, leaving meal assembly up to guests and their tastes. Once dinner is cleared, you can set up a selection of desserts and have guests repeat the process until they are sated. Drinks can be batched, too, to make them no-fuss and self-service. Add disposable dinnerware, and cleanup will practically take care of itself — but you should enlist friends and family in the effort so that you can participate in the holiday festivities. #LastMinuteHolidayTips

Clean Up Before Christmas

#Holiday entertaining should start with a #clean house. #Declutter and clean any areas of the house that need it or will see heavy duty in the days ahead, including bathroom, kitchen and floors. Then, keep the menu simple. “You don’t need every side dish or appetizer in the world,” Bread Booze Bacon says. “Choose options that pair well with the wine, cocktails or beverage you’re planning to serve and stick to the basics. If you want more options, ask your guests to bring a specific course. You can worry about cooking a little less, and nine times out of 10, they’re happy to bring something in lieu of a hostess gift.” #LastMinuteHolidayTips

Put Your Personal Stamp on a Holiday Party

The key to hosting a successful #holiday party is to plan it around the things you like, says Markets at Shrewsbury. Write down your menu and include some of your own favorites. If you’re short on time, there’s no shame in ordering some dishes or hiring house-cleaning help; you don’t want to be stuck doing chores when your guests arrive. Work backward from the date of the party to ensure you have everything you need when it kicks off. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! One of your friends or family members may have a signature recipe that’s always a hit; get them to bring it. Not everyone can be “Ina Garden or Joanna Gaines — and that’s OK!” #LastMinuteHolidayTips

Pick an Easy Plan for Your Holiday Party

The long #holiday weekend is just ahead! If you’re entertaining guests, make sure your plan suits your capabilities and time constraints. Goop suggests three versions of a relatively easy holiday party: the no-cook, wine-cheese-and-charcuterie option; an easy holiday brunch featuring bagels and toppings or baked frittatas; and a sit-down dinner that features simple, yet satisfying recipes. While the natural inclination may be to do an over-the-top feast that requires lots of kitchen time, these options will wow guests without #stressing you out, the story says: “Shortcuts maximize your ability to relax and enjoy your guests.” #LastMinuteHolidayTips

Holiday Traditions Around the World

Though you might not know it to look at the ads, stores and events, the #holidays mean more than #Christmas alone. In fact, nearly every faith and most cultures around the world will observe festive winter #holiday #traditions this month.

Hanukkah is currently underway, a #celebration that commemorates a rebellion in Judea that saw the Maccabees retake and rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem. More than 2,000 years later, The Organizing Blog hopes that peace can prevail this holiday.

A growing tradition in the United States, Kwanzaa is modeled after traditional African harvest festivals. The seven-day celebration begins the day after Christmas and lasts until the new year, with each day representing principles of faith, family and community.

Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on Dec. 8 each year to celebrate Siddhartha Gautama’s spiritual enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree in the 5th century B.C. The day is observed with meditation, acts of kindness and often a humble meal of tea and cake.

Observations of the winter solstice go back to the Stone Age. Pagans celebrate the longest night of the year at Stonehenge, thought to be a celestial “clock” due to the arrangement of its stones, but the event is also celebrated by the Hopi and with holidays in China, Sweden and Iran.

Avid #declutterers and Orthodox Christians may wish to celebrate a pre-Christmas holiday, St. Nicholas Day. Symbolizing good deeds that Santa Claus’ inspiration was known for such as giving away his possessions, the day is associated with acts of service such as volunteering, sharing and raising money for charity.

And let’s not forget the anti-Christmas of Krampusnacht. Krampus — the goat-like evil twin of Santa — appears on Dec. 5 in Central Europe to remind children to be nice during the holidays or risk the penalty of being snatched and eaten.

The modern practice of getting a bucket of fried chicken at KFC on Christmas Eve notwithstanding, The Organizing Blog’s favorite Japanese winter holiday tradition is likely Omisoka, a New Year’s Eve celebration centered around a household #deep-cleaning.

However you choose to #celebrate, The Organizing Blog wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!