Nov 16, 2010

Pull Off A Stress Free Holiday Party!

I wrote this last year, and I think it is my most helpful, holiday dinner prep post . So here ya go, an oldie but goodie =)

Do you ever wish you could pull off a holiday dinner and still have a smile on your face at the end? Well, it's really not that difficult, and we can help you accomplish it!

For years, my mom has been coaching me on how to give a dinner party (or any party for that matter) and enjoy it, enjoy my guests and finish it off without stressing out. I have watched, learned and help my mom put on many dinner parties and they were all fun, enjoyable and stress free.

How you ask? By following a few simple rules:1) Deep clean your place a week before, and do touch ups the night before. This means you can't wait until the last minute to clean, it has to be ALL DONE a week before. This includes your laundry!

2) Do all of your food and decorative shopping 4 days before your party. When you get home, organize all of your party items off to the side (possibly on a dining room table or in a spare bedroom). Don't put them all away, keep them out and together.

3) Have your menu completely planned out. This includes appetizers, drinks, salad, bread, main course, sides, dessert, coffee, condiments, etc. Leave nothing to think about!

4) Set all of your table(s) the night before. In fact, put out as many of the decorations you can the night before (as long as they will not get ruined or fall).

5) Always have a "Plan B". If you are planning to eat on your patio, plan for what you will do if it's too cold, too windy or too hot. Now you will not be frantic when you have to use it!

6) Have all of your meals, desserts, etc. made the day before or the morning of your party if possible. By doing this, you can have your dishes all done, and the mess cleaned up. All you will have to do is pop it in the oven, and not have to spend time preparing things, and you get to be with your guests, not in the kitchen.

7) If any of the food can be cooked in a disposable dish, DO IT!! Then you can just toss it when you are done, thus eliminating the need to clean it.

8) Label what dishes will hold what items. This way if your guests help you, they will know where things go.

9) Have plenty of seating for all of your guests. If you invite 10 people to dinner, have a table set up to hold 10 people. If this requires you to borrow tables and chairs, get them a few days before hand, not the day of.

10) Enlist the help of a friend for clean up. Having someone to help you takes the pressure off of you to be the hostess Or host with the most! 4 hands are always better than 2, and much quicker. Be sure to have plenty of containers for left overs. This helps aids in a quick clean up.

11) 30 minutes before your guests are scheduled to arrive, light your candles, turn on your music, ice your drink glasses, and put out your appetizers. Sit down, pour yourself a drink and have a great time!

Well, there you have it. I am sure I could have gone on for DAYS!!! I love to entertain, and I love it when my friends say I make it look so easy. The truth is, it's not easy, I just am well prepared! If you take a little time to organize, plan, clean, and prepare, you can have a successful, stress free event that you will actually enjoy!

I hope this helps, let us know if there are tips you can add to aid our readers in a stress free holiday. I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Holidays!


Join the Gossip said...

Great tips! Happy Thanksgiving! I like your new blog look too, by the way =)

KDC Events said...

Thanks Leeann!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Haha my old profile pic shows up :)

Thansk for the reminder. You always have th best tips!

Tina said...

Excellent tips Denice. Very practical too! Thanks for sharing.

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