The holidays are fast approaching, and everybody is going to be getting busier as they do. You have the kids’ school parties and programs and in addition, you’ll be trying to find time to spend with your family and friends. In other words, ’tis the season for entertaining.
If you’re like me, you might prefer to have those family and friend get-togethers are your own house. It’s convenient, you don’t have to haul the kids around and deal with traffic and having all those people over forces you to clean! We all know entertaining can be stressful . . . but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 simple tips that will help you throw a party without losing your sanity.
Many large discount stores (think Sam’s Club) will allow you to shop for everything you need, and you only need to make one trip!
Create your menu and then list all the necessary ingredients, condiments, etc. that you’ll need for your gathering. And don’t forget the little things like toothpicks, extra napkins and ice.
Sure, there’s bound to be something you forget, but if you get most of it taken care of beforehand, you’ll have nothing to worry about at the last minute.
Skip The China
Yep, don’t even bother getting out the good stuff for dinner. If you are hosting a party and have more than four people coming over, save yourself time by serving dinner on paper plates and using disposable cups, plastic silverware and paper napkins.
You don’t have to buy drab, white paper plates either. You can mix and match some bright colors or patterns for some extra oomph.
As for the tablecloth, buy a heavy duty paper one with a plastic backing to help keep your table free from spills.
Prep the Table
The day before or the morning of your party, figure out which platters and utensils you’ll need for serving. Put Post-it notes on the platters so you know which food is being served in which dish. Get your paper and plastic ready to be served on, and you won’t have to worry about rushing around at the last minute looking for anything!
Sure a nice sit-down dinner would be ideal, but if your family is anything like ours, you’ll have kids running all over the place and adults scattered both in and outside the house. Trying to get them all to sit down at the same time is nearly impossible. So why not go buffet style for the meal? Everybody serves themselves and you’re not busy serving the entire table.
How much food will you need? Offer a few main-course options as well as side dishes, and make sure you serve something the kids will actually eat too. You’ll need about three ounces of meat per person, and around the same for sides. Count every three kids as one adult since kids tend to fill up on appetizers and don’t eat as much as an adult.
Because you used paper and plastic to serve dinner, there won’t be a whole lot to clean up! Make sure your dishwasher is empty so you can quickly rinse and load it. If you prefer to clean after your guests leave, fill up your sink with warm, soapy water and let everything soak while your enjoying your company.
What tips do you use to make holiday entertaining less daunting?