Are you the Christmas host or hostess? We entertain often during the holidays and we’ll tell you- it’s not too late to get it together without being frazzled. Check out our tried and true holiday entertaining tips and have your holiday down pat!
- What type of party are you having? Whether you are inviting guests to your home for a quiet evening, Christmas eve or day dinner, or a big holiday party, clearly define your vision. Cozy dinner and drinks, large holiday soiree, or hot chocolate party; think it out beforehand and decide exactly what you’d like to do.
- Decide on your budget. Easier said than done but this is an important step in the process. Consider whether you want to spend extra money on themed decor or paper products or if you’d rather put your money into different types of food, drinks, or dessert offerings.
- Take care of the core meal. We’ve had a few lessons learned when delegating important parts of the meal to guests who are (ahem) a bit unreliable. Take care of the core meal yourself- meat, potato, bread, vegetable- and then add extra dishes by spotlighting what your guests or family members can bring.
- Make a list. Write down everything you’re going to need. If you haven’t started your list yet, this is the time to do it.
- Shop as you go. It’s better to get a few things everytime you’re out and about than to wait until the week of the party and do it ALL. Plus, it’s easier on your finances as well. Get your paper products one day. Buy wine and other alcoholic purchases another. Save the perishables for the week of the party so those are fresh.
- Do as much as you can at home before the big day. Can you set your dining room table a day or two ahead of time? Consider making a timeline for the day of and the days leading up to the party. The more you do beforehand the easier your life will be. Imagine taking a hot bath or a nap a few hours before dinner. You can do that if you plan ahead.
- Set things up so all you have to do is minimal maintenance. If you have to constantly heat appetizers in the oven, you will be in the kitchen all night! Think of ways to prepare, serve and replenish food that does not involve constant kitchen time- like using chafers, or serving a few (cold) platters of cheeses, bread, and olives and a (hot) dinner. Or recruit a shy family member(s) to be in charge of heating appetizers and food.
- Enjoy your own event! Put your favorite dress on, light the candles, and pour the bubbly. Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and mingle with guests. (Monitor your own alcohol consumption if you are in charge of the entire meal- no one likes a drunk hostess!) Do your best to keep an eye on things, but also expect that mishaps may occur that no one anticipates. Spills, and other minor stuff can happen but be a sport and smile and solve the issue. Don’t be a drama queen if things fall apart. Just keep going!
- Have a plan for the next day. Do some clean up but also have a good day of rest. Heat up any leftovers for dinner and save a bottle of wine for yourself. Don’t give in to the urge to put everything away in a single day. Just relax and reflect on your great party!
If you follow these ideas, you’ll be sure and have it all together! Relax and enjoy yourself at your own party!
Holiday Entertaining, The Huffington Post
Easy Holiday Entertaining, Love From the Oven
At Home for Christmas, First Home Love Life