Holiday Design, Prep & Clean-up Tips

Ease your stress and impress your guests by incorporating some of Sarah Baeumler's design, prep and clean-up tips into your holiday planning.

cf_candles_mainWith the holidays fast approaching, I know firsthand that hosting a memorable party can take your stress levels from zero to 60 – especially when it involves entertaining small children and overnight guests.

Décor and Entertaining Tips:

Simplicity is key:
When it comes to decorating your home, less is more! Over decorating is time-consuming and leaves your home feeling cluttered which isn’t always child-friendly. A simple look will brighten your space and leave more room for mingling.

Seasonal Florals:
Fresh flowers on the dining table are a must, though one large centerpiece isn’t always the best choice as it can block the view and conversation. Dial up the holiday spirit and leave more space on the table for turkey and talk using smaller, in-season floral arrangements with fruit and vegetable accents to decorate your table instead of an oversized arrangement.

Warm welcome:
Start impressing your relatives before they even walk in the door! Take your holiday colour scheme outdoors and set a welcoming mood with lavish greenery adorned with seasonal décor such as leaves and pine cones. Make it a family affair by having the kids hunt for the fallen leaves and décor pieces.

Switch up your colours:
Branch out from your traditional thanksgiving colours and choose a colour palette reflective of your style. Using all white or different shades of white can help to keep your look clean and crisp. Or, add a festive shimmer with copper, silver or gold accents.

Overnight guests:
Soft white linens and duvets for your relatives will make them feel like they’re staying at a luxurious hotel. Keep a basket with white towels and toiletry items they might have forgotten, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, for an added touch of elegance. Adding in something for the kids, like a holiday-themed colouring book, will help to keep them occupied.

Prep & Clean-up Tips:

Get the kids involved:
Incorporate the kids into holiday hosting by having them create personalized place holder cards for your guests. If your children are older, give them some grown-up responsibility (and mom a well-deserved rest!) by having them serve dessert to your guests.

Dress to impress:
Don’t shy away from dressing your family in fear of spills and stains. Trust in a quality detergent like OxiClean Liquid Laundry Detergent to remove any dried-on stains the first time and keep your family’s clothes looking vivid and bright.

Attack spills and stains:
There’s always a risk of spills and stains at any social gathering – especially with children around. Be prepared for spills before they happen by mixing OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder and warm water in a squeezable bottle before the party starts but make sure not to seal the bottle and to discard the mixture afterwards.


Sarah’s reputation as the ‘hostess with the mostest’ is proof that anyone can find the time to entertain at home while juggling a family and career. With a few simple tips and hacks for entertaining the kids and simplifying her party prep and clean-up, Sarah has much more time to enjoy good food and plenty of laughs with her loved ones.

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