Before you bring on the tears and mourn the last days of sunshine, it’s time for one final shindig! Since Labor Day pays tribute to the American worker, no one should have to labor on this holiday, and that includes you, Ms./Mr. party host. Need some help? Here are 5 stress-free party-planning tips.

Make it an easy-peasy potluck

Plan a potluck, and your blood pressure will thank you. You can provide the main entrée, say, burgers and grilled chicken. Then ask your guests to bring a side or dessert to share. But here’s the catch: in line with the less-work, no-stress theme of the holiday, tell them their dish needs to have 5 ingredients or less and take no more than 30 minutes to prepare. Some ideas: Hawaiian Pasta Salad, roasted corn on the cob, or a no-bake dessert.

Make it even easier:
Buy signature desserts from D.C. staples, like , Georgetown Cupcakes Georgetown Cupcakes Labor Day special (a triple berry cupcake with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries baked inside, vanilla buttercream and a US flag fondant).

What are some of your stress-free party tips?

—Pat Tanumihardja

Photos courtesy of Betty Crocker via, cinsy via Creative Commons, mamaloco via Creative Commons, via, and Yung-Yi Hsieh Nindorf