*We've partnered with Annie's Homegrown, Vichy and Luxe to help us survive (ahem, we mean enjoy) the holiday season.
Remember when surviving your holiday party meant trying not to have too many margaritas and hit on a co-worker? Well, times are different now, mama. You've got a new baby -- or maybe several kids -- to celebrate alongside. And there's nary a margarita in sight. No need to decline the festivities, though. With these strategic tips and tricks, you can not only throw a kickass holiday party, but survive it, and maybe even have a really, really good time. Here's how.
1. Timing is everything. Rethink the traditional Friday night party, and opt for a holiday brunch instead. Invite everyone pre-nap (aka pre-meltdown), when your little one is happy, energetic….and most willing to share well with others. Include a party end-time on the invite so that last single friend doesn't linger while you're trying to get your babe down. Trust us, that single friend will be grateful they can flee for the bar early enough in the day to get a seat.
2. Create a kid-friendly menu. Don't expect the kiddos to sit down for a formal brunch. Rather, have some fun, easy-to-eat foods ready to go as soon as your guests arrive so no kid goes hangry. Opt for upgraded winter classics like new Annie's Organic Chicken Noodle Soup packed with corkscrew egg noodles and organic chicken, or pair grilled cheese triangles with a warm cup of Annie's Organic Tomato Soup (extra credit: it's got an entire ½ cup veggies in every serving). Sprinkle some Cheddar Bunnies on top and the kids will come running.
3. Capture the moment. You're about to throw an awesome holiday party, make sure there's a record of it! Instead of waiting (and forgetting) to tell friends to snap pics during the party, email them before it even starts, and provide a cute hashtag for social posting (we love #wellroundedholiday, hint hint) so you can find them all later.
4. Don't be afraid to hire help, even if you're not “that type." Help can mean a babysitter or nanny, a food delivery service, or even a valet parking service like Luxe to assist with your errands. There's door-to-door service, so no more time wasted finding parking spots or lugging huge bags a million blocks, plus overnight parking, car washes, fuel-ups, oil changes and even Tesla charging (because we know you have a Tesla, right?). And in honor of the holidays, Well Rounded readers can email here to get $100 off a monthly subscription!
5. Take a mama time-out before the party even starts. Build in a little extra time on party day to pamper yourself with a luxurious mask, like this skin-quenching one from Vichy. Throw it on right when you get out of the shower, and do your household party prep while the delicious mineralizing thermal water and soothing Vitamin B3 seeps in.
6. Get your kids involved in the party prep. Nothing will excite your little one more than letting him feel like he's the host with the most. Assign him a party prep role, like Chief Cookie Baker, and spend some quality one-on-one time with him before guests arrive and steal your attention. Annie's Organic Baking Mixes, like Double Chocolate Brownie Mix and Sugar Cookie Mix, make it easy to get little hands involved in the kitchen. They're all certified organic, made with unbleached flour and free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives and hydrogenated oils.
7. Take a baby break. If you've got a wee little one, make sure you step away from the action and have some quiet time free of stimulation. Find a quiet spot to feed or cuddle with your baby, and remind her that she's safe and sound with mama despite the holiday chaos.
8. Plan age-appropriate activities for all the guests. If you've got some toddlers on your list, a fun craft, like Maypole's felt crown kits, will buy you some extra time to enjoy the morning with your mama friends. Guests with babies will appreciate a strategically placed baby blanket on the floor, no matter how clean you swear your house is.
9. Treat your mama guests. Holiday gifting doesn't have to only be about the kids. Wrap up some stocking stuffers for your best ladies to take home as party favors, or plan a fun Secret Santa for the adults in the house while the kiddos are at play. Stick to a theme, like new mama indulgences or stuff you can find at the drugstore for under $25.
10. Hydrate! Even if there's no wine involved, it's important to stay hydrated, especially if you're breastfeeding. Carry a glass of water around the party with you - bonus, no stains if it spills! You can also give yourself a moisturizing spritz during every bathroom run with Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water spray, which is filled with 15 rare minerals to fortify and protect the skin from environmental aggressors. Leave it by the sink and let other mamas get in on the hydration action.
Bonus Tip: Enjoy yourself! The holidays don't have to be stressful and can still be the most magical time of the year. Plus now that you're not overdoing it on the margaritas, you'll actually remember how fun that holiday party was.
Photography by Belle Savransky for Well Rounded.
Shoot styled by Sarah Bean.
Kids Wardrobe provided by A Gifted Baby.
Kids aprons by Odette Williams.
Cheers garland by Maypole.
*This post was sponsored by Annie's Homegrown, Vichy and Luxe.