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Home Living : December 20th 2011
HLS - HOME LIVING: SOUTH, Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1 TAKE CONTROL OF PARTY PLANNING A LITTLE PREPARATION GOES A LONG WAY Janita Singh Being the perfect Christmas host requires preparation. FESTIVE FUN Festive parties are fun but can be costly. With some smart planning and a few tricks you can throw a holiday party without throwing away your budget. If lots of people are invited, why not get them to bring a dish each. Pot luck is one of the cheapest ways to throw a party with a variety of tasty food. As host you can supply drinks and some finger food. Similarly you can get your guests to bring their favourite drinks. Instead of a proper lunch or dinner, when sending your invitation be specific and point out it is for light refreshments. Then you can serve hors d'oeuvres and some light food. This is not only fuss-free but will save you hours of slaving in the kitchen. Cheese platters and fondue parties are also great ideas. CHRISTMAS CHEER WITH only days left before Christmas, it's time to put everything together to avoid last-minute stress. You should have already done some shopping, bought some gifts and wrapped them, mailed Christmas cards, planned what the Christmas lunch or dinner menu will look like, sorted the guest list and entertain- ment and put up the Christ- mas tree and decorations. What's left to do between now and the actual day is checking to see everything is going to plan. Start by checking the con- dition of your home. Sure, you've given it a good clean over the last few weeks, but it pays to check again. If necessary, give it another quick dusting, vacuuming, polishing and final touches. When preparing for Christmas, keep in mind that the most important part of the holiday is your family and friends gather- ing together to celebrate. Do what you can to help make everyone feel welcome. Be sure that you decorate your home and tree for the people who will enjoy it. Be mindful of heirloom Christ- mas decorations if inquisi- tive children are coming. Don't set your table with the finest linen if the food will be messy and don't use your favourite china for little children who may break it. Make sure every room is set and ready. If accommo- dating guests, be sure to have enough room. Guest rooms should be clutter-free and put out ex- tra towels and blankets and pillows ahead of time. If you're just pulling out a sofa bed, make sure it's in good condition and clean. Give guests some storage space by putting a basket in the room. As Christmas Day gets closer, set up some fresh flowers. Seen any great ideas? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org BEWARE FESTIVE DANGERS Holiday lights and electrical decorations create holiday cheer both inside and outside the home, but they can also create fire hazards. IT'S TIME TO PARTY When hosting parties, think of savings. 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December 13th 2011
January 10th 2012