5 tips to make holiday entertaining easier

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(BPT) - Looking forward to the holidays? This time of year provides plenty of opportunities for fun gatherings, but even if you love entertaining, it can also bring some stress. The good news is, you can help everything go more smoothly by planning ahead.

Here are some practical tips to help keep your holidays full of joy.

1. Have a plan B

You may be a stickler for planning menus to the last detail — then discover the grocery store is out of one crucial ingredient. With these occasional hiccups, you may feel your stress meter start to climb. To prevent last-minute monkey wrenches, make sure to have a plan B menu, so you can swap out one dish if you can’t find (or forget!) a single ingredient. Same goes for things like seating arrangements — always leave an extra place (or have extra chairs handy) for someone’s unexpected "plus one."

2. Build in time cushions

Think you need X hours to do your errands or prep food before guests arrive? Add an extra hour — minimum — in case you get waylaid by unexpected events. Construct your schedule starting when guests arrive and work your way backward, listing when you need to do what — always erring on the side of allowing more time than you think you’ll need. Your future self will thank you!

3. Upgrade your food storage

There’s nothing worse than shopping for meals, then finding you don’t have room in the fridge — or discovering your icemaker no longer works, or the food isn’t kept cold enough. Now is the ideal time to upgrade to a 27 cubic feet Smart Counter Depth Max French Door Refrigerator from LG Electronics. This refrigerator's counter depth design provides all the storage you need without sacrificing design aesthetics. Since today's kitchens are entertaining hubs for gathering with friends and family, you can have the best of both worlds — attractive design plus smart functionality.

If you’ve ever had a fridge with uneven cooling power, you'll also appreciate that this model provides a Door Cooling+ vent that extends the reach of LG’s Smart Cooling system — allowing blasts of cool air to reach all areas of the refrigerator to help maintain consistent temperatures, keeping all foods fresh and flavorful.

Even better, you can use the LG ThinQ app to make ice for a party while you’re at work or on the go, adjust temps with a voice command and even receive mobile notifications when the water filter needs to be replaced. And with ThinQ Care, you can receive proactive smart alerts about fridge usage and maintenance on your smartphone to help prevent potential problems and keep your fridge running at its best.

4. Don’t be afraid to delegate

Face it, one person can’t do everything. Break larger items on your do-to list into smaller steps, or find specific, easy-to-delegate tasks for family members, friends or even helpful guests. Most people enjoy helping out, especially when they know exactly what they need to do — and when their job is done. Let go of the need to manage every step so you’ll have more time to relax and have fun.

5. Make cleanup a snap

One easy task to delegate is doing the dishes, which is even easier when you have the best tools for the job. With LG’s Smart Top Control Dishwasher with 1-Hour Wash and Dry, QuadWash Pro, TrueSteam and Dynamic Heat Dry, you can tackle the toughest jobs like a pro. High-pressure jets with 38% more cleaning power spray dishes from multiple angles — and Flex Zone lets you customize cleaning to target different zones inside the dishwasher. The interior provides ample space for lots of dishes and stemware — fitting up to 15 place settings. EasyRack Plus lets you fit more dishes, so you can run fewer loads and make short work of after-dinner cleanup. With three height settings, the upper rack adjusts effortlessly to make room for tall stemware on top or oversized pans below. You can even make a convenient spot for hard-to-fit items like flatware or long-handled utensils.

Another benefit: You’ll be able to turn around multiple loads of dishes when you need them with the one-hour wash and dry cycle, so you can keep everything running smoothly and be ready to entertain guests without a long wait. And you can start the dishwasher remotely from anywhere, anytime, using the ThinQ app, so no matter where you are, the dishes will be ready when you need them.

These tips and tools should help you prepare everything for the holidays, allowing you more time for what matters most. Visit LG.com/us to find products to help everything run more smoothly over the holidays — and all year long.