Holiday entertaining can send a busy person over the edge if you let things get out of hand. If you’re the one hosting a Christmas party, find ways to make it as stress-free as possible.
Pick and choose from these suggestions:
• Have a start and end time on your party invitations so people know when to arrive and when to leave.
• Clean the house a couple of days before.
• Buy enough ice for the party. Put as much as you can into your freezer and have containers of ice near the drinks.
• Prepare all the dishes the day before. Heat them up right before the party.
• Have a music play list set up in advance.
• Keep the drink list simple by offering a choice of one special punch or a variety of bottled drinks.
• Purchase as much store-bought foods as possible and transfer them to your pretty serving dishes.
• Rather than hosting a sit-down meal, provide a buffet meal or appetizers.
• Position appetizers and drinks in varying locations to prevent a bottleneck in one area.
• Use warming trays to keep foods warm. If you don’t have the money for new ones, you can often find them for a steal at garage sales and thrift stores.
• Send guests home with leftovers in take-out boxes or plastic containers.
• If you have a laundry room, fill a tub with soapy water for soiled dishes. This makes cleanup easier after the guests have left.
• About fifteen minutes before the end of the party, turn the music down and blow out any candles you have lit to let people know it’s almost time to go home.
• After everyone is gone, take out the garbage so you won’t be faced with it the next morning.