Entertaining is one of my favorite things to do, but for many it can be very stressful, especially around the holidays.
Below are 10 Tips to take the stress and financial burden out of holiday entertaining so you can enjoy the holidays and your guests.
1. Cleaning the house is super time consuming so do a deep dive housecleaning at the beginning of the season. This way all you have to do is a light dusting or vacuum before entertaining and you’ll always be ready for any impromptu guests.
2. Plan ahead. Start by making a list of everything you will need for your event weeks in advance. During that time begin picking up your décor items, platters, candles etc. This will allow you plenty of time to get everything you need while spreading out the cost of hosting over time.
3. Create your menu but don’t think you need to make every dish on it. Whether it’s canapes or sit-down dinner outsource some of the dishes to friends. We all have friends or family who love to cook and many people even have a favorite holiday dish that they like to make… so let them bring it. I use to make the mistake of feeling like I had to make everything myself…food is love, so trust me others are happy to pitch in.
4. Don’t go crazy with the bar. Choose one type of spirit to create a signature drink and serve beer and wine. Your friends and family are sure to bring libations as well, so you don’t need to provide a full bar.
5. Make a few holiday playlists with a total of at least 8 hours of music that takes you through the mood of your party. Light music while your guests are arriving and through dinner, and then maybe pick up the vibe as the evening gets later.
6. If you will need to move your furniture to accommodate the amount of guests you have, then start setting up the layout of the house and do the rearranging earlier in the week. This will allow you some time to feel the flow of the space and make any tweaks you think you may need.
7. For a sit- down dinner set the table the night before. If you are doing a buffet, lay out the platters that you will be using for each dish so you know exactly how much room you will need to allow for the food.
8. Instead of hosting a formal dinner do a champagne and dessert party, asking your guests to bring a bottle and their favorite dessert. It’s the holiday’s and everyone will want to contribute in some fashion anyway.
9. Around the holidays we tend to have impromptu guests drop often so I like to keep a few cheeses, crackers, fruit, and a few bottles of nice wine on hand during the holiday season. This way if someone calls to say they are in the neighborhood can they stop by, I don’t have to rush out to the store at the last minute.
10. Remember the holiday season is about friends, family, peace and love. No matter what type of event you are hosting if you remember that… it will be wonderful.