It’s the Christmas holiday season and that means plenty of parties. So if you’re hosting a gathering and it’s going to be a large one, you might be starting to panic. How do you come off as the hostess with the mostest with such a large group? Here are some steps to follow to make entertaining a big crowd easier.
* Be prepared for everything. Putting things together in advance and making sure to have extras tucked away for that unexpected guest will make things go smoothly. Have a wide variety of hot and cold beverages to offer. Don’t forget about the sugar bowl and creamer. Have it stocked and ready to go.
* Plan smart. A good party planner makes sure to have everything thought out in advance and put together. Start early with your planning, especially when it comes to the holidays.
* You want to pick out that date early as people’s schedules quickly get filled up around the holidays. It doesn’t have to be on Christmas Eve or even the weekend before; you can do a weeknight party or even wait until right after Christmas. Do whatever works best for you and you think will work well for your guests as well.
* But along with this you will want to get your invites out quickly to make sure people save that date.
* Keep your guest list organized. Have all of your invitees listed and leave room to mark regrets and acceptance so you know just how much you need to prepare for.
* Map out where you’ll have everything and everyone if you’re doing a sit-down dinner. Know in advance if things will need to be moved around to make room for your guests, gifts, and food.
* Set a time line of when things need to be done. Include during the party so you don’t run out of time to open gifts or do grab bags or whatever you want to make sure you have time for. You don’t want guests leaving before having had dinner or opened gifts because you spent too much time on one thing.
* Plan your recipes in advance and try them out. You don’t want to be trying something new at the party. Know exactly what you’re going to make and make sure you can execute it the night of the party.
* Enjoy your guests. Don’t be in the kitchen the entire time your guests are there. You should have the bulk of the cooking done beforehand. Sit down, chat with them, and don’t spend too much time with just one group of people. Work the whole room.
* Delegate tasks to certain people. Don’t try to do it all on your own. If you have a good friend who’s a talented drink master, then get him to serve drinks to your guests. Put someone on music detail to keep the music going. If at all possible, hiring people to serve might make things easier as well.
* It’s always nice to open your home to someone at the holiday time who might not have anywhere else to go. One extra person to feed isn’t going to kill you and you’ll feel good doing it too.
If you plan very carefully and are willing to accept help from others, then you will have the holiday party to remember. Maybe your house will even become the place to be every holiday season. Roll with the punches and put your guests at ease. Not fussing about that spilled glass of wine and just cleaning it up with a smile and a towel will make everyone relax a little more. You can tackle the stain later. Grace and planning are what will make entertaining a large group this holiday season go off smoothly.