Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting

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This post has been sponsored by GOJO, the makers of PURELL® Multi Surface Disinfectant. All opinions are mine.

Are you hosting a holiday gathering at your house? Whether you raised your hand to have people over or drew the short straw, hosting a big group of people (no matter who they are) at the holidays is stressful. I enjoy throwing parties…which is kind of weird for an introvert but that's a whole other story…but it is a ton of work. Here are a few sanity saving hacks for holiday hosting that will help you get through your own party.

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Who knows…you might even enjoy yourself.

Sanity Savings Hacks for Holiday Hosting

1. Make a Shopping List

I know this might sound like a no-brainer because what kind of nut goes to the store during the holidays without a list?

But seriously, it's an easy thing to forget with all of the holiday hustle and bustle. Or, you might think you have your list committed to memory but if you’re anything like me, the second you set foot in your favorite store, you’re distracted by…stuff.

Stuff like floral arrangements in the produce department (for the love, why do they put the flowers next to the squash?)

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

If you make a shopping list, you’re more likely to stay on track. At least that's the idea.

[Tweet “Sanity saving hacks for holiday hosting @PURELL #ad #GOJOPartner”]

And no, that’s not foolproof. The product placement geniuses know how to hit you where you live. I saw cute, floral crock pots near the baking aisle in Walmart. Ask me how that makes sense. I can’t explain it to you but I do know I want a floral crockpot.

You’ll be happy to know I resisted. High five to me.

2. Prep Ahead of Time

I’m a “do it from scratch” kind of girl when it comes to the holidays. To save myself some time (see also save some of my sanity) on big meal day, I prep ahead of time.

I chop vegetables for stuffing and roast squash and sweet potatoes. Did you know that if you roast sweet potatoes (just pop them on a baking sheet) for about an hour and let them cool, they’re super easy to peel?

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

I always make soups or stews out of leftover holiday turkey or ham and it saves me a huge amount of time to chop my veggies ahead of time, before the big meal.

I’ve also been experimenting with flavored butters. My favorite one so far has been mixing softened butter with a squeeze of lemon, some chopped pecans and a few select spices (watch for the recipe soon, I’m still tweaking!) These add so much to a special meal and they’re easy to throw together a couple of days before.

With everything that's going down on these counters, I'm glad I've got PURELL® Multi Surface Disinfectant on hand. Keeping my work area disinfected and clean is important to me every day but during times where my kitchen is slamming busy, I appreciate this type of product.

PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria in 30 seconds. It's worry-free to use around pets, kids, and food, which gives me a ton of peace of mind. The alcohol-based formula kills germs like bleach without harsh chemicals and irritating fumes. There are no harsh smells and come on…who wants harsh smells in their food prep area? Yuck.

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant works on food-contact surfaces, giving you the peace of mind to use it just about anywhere. There's no water rinse required; this means you do not have to rinse the surface or object you sprayed after using the product because there are no harmful chemicals. Winning, right? I love this stuff.

PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant holds the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) certification. What does that mean? It means this product meets the EPA’s high standards for sustainable products…and that's important to me.

I’m usually being pulled in a zillion different directions when I’ve got company and I’m trying to prepare a meal so having the prep work done ahead of time is a sanity-saver. Okay, maybe I am a little crazy to do it all from scratch year after year when there are so many other easy options available, but I really do like it.

3. Busy Hands Activity

Big family meals can be hard on little kids. They’re often at a time of day when the kids are not used to eating. Unfamiliar people in the home throw off their mojo even more.

Plan something (or several somethings) to keep kids busy. If you’re lucky enough to have teens or tweens on your guest list, plan some things that will let the older ones watch the younger ones. Winning.

Think easy crafts that don’t require a ton of supervision or make a mess. You’ll be too busy to oversee complex projects or sweep up glitter and unless you have a super crafty high school kid in your midst, simpler is better.

We like this easy snack mix. We all it Turkey Feed or Reindeer Feed, depending on the season. Set out the ingredients and some individual sized bags or containers and let the kids go to town.

And for those of you who are about to voice some concern that these kids will spoil their dinner? Please. I spend all day cooking and my kids pick at their turkey and eat a roll.

4. Make a Cleanup Plan

Hosting a holiday celebration is a lot of work and your work doesn’t end when the meal is served. You have leftovers to divide and put away, china and crystal to hand wash, and many pots to scrub.

While I love the idea of not being the cook and the cleanup crew, control freak me gets twitchy over the idea of someone else in my kitchen. Our compromise is for my husband to deal with the turkey carcass and/or unsliced ham and then keep the kids out of my way while I put the kitchen back together.

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

When these little fingers are everywhere, I want to make sure my work areas are as clean and safe as possible![/caption]

You have to decide what works for your house but I think it helps to hammer out your expectations ahead of time.

If you're going to make an escape after dinner to have some alone time with the Hallmark Channel and think you're going to return to a sparkling kitchen in two hours…well, better make sure someone in your household is aware of that. Just saying.

The PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant comes in handy during the clean-up process. In addition to wiping down tables and coutnertops, I use it to disinfect appliances inside and out (it's great on the inside of the fridge.)

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack

I know, this is probably easier said than done but give yourself permission to be a little messy. You’re probably going to forget something, burn something, run out of something, or lose your patience with someone. Maybe all of those things.

And, that’s okay.

Whatever goes wrong (and something will) it probably won’t be as big a deal to everyone else as it is to you. So, relax. Breathe. Make merry.

Because this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant  Multi-Surface Disinfectant is available online at, and In addition, it is available at select grocers: Publix, H-E-B, Shoprite and at Harris Teeter in January 2018.

Sanity Saving Hacks for Holiday Hosting|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals


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