It really is possible to pull off a festive affair with just a little pre-planning and no stress. Whether you’re hosting a few friends or a cocktail party on the weekend, the key is to keep things simple.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for a stress-free party.
1. Plan Your Menu
Don’t worry about putting together an extravagant menu. Finger foods are always a good idea. It allows your guests to munch and mingle their way through the party. Plus, less clean up without the utensils.
If you’re hosting a larger party and your budget allows it, rentals are a good route. You’ll get uniform appetizer plates, coffee mugs, wine glasses, and cutlery and when you’re done you just put everything back in the the boxes they came in AS IS… it’s a beautiful thing!
Tip: If you ever get stumped thinking about what to serve, here is a basic no-fail, super-fast, and universally pleasing buffet: prepare fruit and cheese platter, an antipasto plate with olives, cured meats and pickled vegetables, hummus drizzled with olive oil and toasted pita slices. It’s so simple and so good.
It’s no surprise that the bar is a popular spot at the holiday party. Simplify your guests’ choices by streamlining the bar. Pick a couple of affordable red and white wines, offer two selections of beer (an IPA and a dark ale) and a punch which covers off your mixed drink option. Don’t forget to also offer a non-alcoholic option.
Tip: Unsure how much to have on hand? Google “drink calculator” for additional help.
3. Say Yes and All Hands on Deck
If someone offers to bring something, say YES! Recruit the rest of your family to help make the day as relaxing as possible. Help tidy the house, put together a party music playlist, shovel the driveway… don’t feel like you need to take everything on by yourself.
Set the mood for your guests. My favourite part of the holidays in the decorations. Nothing over the top but simple, warm, and classic. A wreath on the door, some garland on the mantle, candle light, red poinsettias, and of course a tree or a pine arrangement will set the perfect tone.
A couple other tips:
- Clear the coat closet, rent a coat rack, or designate a spare bed for coats and purses so guests don’t have to hold onto their things.
- Be mindful of the temperature. It might be chilly outside but when you’ve got a houseful of guests you’d be surprised how quickly the temperature rises. Crack a window or turn the temperature down a few notches.
5. Clean it Up
No matter what time the party ends do some clean up. As hard as that can be at 2am, you’ll be much happier when you wake up the next day. You’ll find you’re much more motivated to get up when you know you don’t have a sink full of dirty dishes and party aftermath.
I hope these tips help you enjoy a stress-free entertaining season! What are you go-to entertaining recipes, decorations or pre-planning tips? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Until next time,