While I love to entertain, I sometimes find myself panicking at the last minute. Am I going to be able to get all this done? Here are a few tips for getting through the holiday entertaining season.
1.Do whatever you can in advance. For example,when entertaing, set the table the week before; you won’t have to think about tending to a wrinkled tablecloth or spotty glasses the day of.
2.Think traditions. Ask your family what traditions they love, and what they wouldn’t miss if they were gone. Focus on the favorites; nix the rest.
3.Upgrade your gadgets. A good potato peeler, sharp kitchen shears, or measuring spoons with easy-to-see numbers make life easier.
4.Save favorite recipes.
I keep a folder of favorite recipes and add to it all year as I find things I may want to make. It allows me to go through all the options in one spot and put together a menu with ease. I also write down the quantities I used. For example; for 40 guests -”used two bags of stuffing mix” or “3 cans cranberry”. This way I know each year how much to buy
5. Beverage Station. Set up a beverage station on a side table or unused counter so guests aren’t coming into the busiest part of the kitchen to get drinks.
6. Forget “scratch”. Let yourself off the hook and skip the “everything from scratch” mentality. Focus on a few things your family really loves-like homemade mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Go boxed, jarred or purchased for other.
7. Tidy by time. A timer is key to not crashing and burning when getting your house quest-ready. Clean main rooms, a little each day, in 15-minute increments. Look for progress, not perfection.
8. Kids crafts. Include and easy-to-assemble crafts project at the kid’s table so young guests have something to occupy them.
9. Easy centerpiece. A wooden bowl filled with apples, pears, or other fruit is a quick, easy, and affordable centerpiece. A vase of branches or big leaves is also striking.
10.Decanter vs. bottle. Serve wine from a decanter instead of the bottle. It makes a pretty presentation, and no one will be the wiser if you’re serving an inexpensive vintage.
11.Trim errands. Errands eat up a lot of time and energy. Streamline trips by keeping and errand to-do list on your fridge. Check it every time you head out the door so you can pick up or drop off things in the direction you are going. A hidden bonus: you will save gas money!
12.Whenever anyone asks if they can help, say “Yes, please!”Have them cut green beans, open wine, or even bring a side dish.