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Easy Entertaining & a Salad

Stress-less Holiday Entertaining | Lisa Samuel |

I almost didn’t write this post.  The topic of easy holiday entertaining sounded trite to me, and maybe even a little pompous.

Because really, holiday entertaining can be stressful.  Especially if we start to compare ourselves to Pinterest boards and Instagram posts and beautiful blogs portraying perfectly set tables (or perfectly imperfectly set tables) and hand-designed place cards and gorgeous vintage platters of food and homemade gifts.  But that’s not real life.  It’s like a photoshopped version of life, one in which all the imperfections are erased—the dirty dishes, late nights of planning, the closets filled with the contents of the last mad-dash to straighten and organize.

But then I started thinking: I have a lot to say on this topic.  I have learned so much over the past few years about welcoming our friends into our home.  On a typical week, we may have friends over two or three times, sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous.  And so I’ve learned how to make it easy(er).

Here are my lovingly-given thoughts on how to welcome family and friends into your home over the holidays with as little stress as possible.

Many years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I purchased candles at the Ballard Farmer’s Market from Julianna, the creative mind behind Ascents Candle Company.  Julianna creates beautiful pastel ombré candles from palm wax—a sustainable vegetable wax—and all essential oils.  As her candles burn, they develop an interesting crystalline structure that adds to the beauty…