Welcoming your friends and family into your home this holiday season? Not to fear, these tips and tricks will help ensure that your next festive soireé is not only stress-free but a thankfully good time for all.
- Make a List: At least a day before your event, make a list to keep track of what needs to be done and when. A game plan will keep you on task, plus crossing off items from a list is so satisfying.
- Select Decorations: When it comes to decorations, the smaller the better. Short, small bunches of seasonal blooms in lieu of a large centerpiece will save table space for food. Gilded nuts and munchkin pumpkins are the perfect smaller accents to fill any empty spots on the dining or buffet table.
- Prep Ahead of Time: Make as much of the food and drinks ahead of time as you can. Of course, this doesn't work for every food item, but try to get all of your prep work done as early as possible. This will allow you to greet and tend to your guests while everything heats up. We recommend leaving at least an hour before guests arrive to take care of any last minute emergencies and to give you time to get ready and relax before the party starts.
- Prep the Bar: Set up a separate table for drinks -- both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage choices. Stock it with ice, cocktail napkins, stirrers, garnishes and appropriate glassware. Free up fridge space with a tub of iced drinks. And to make life even easier, premix pitchers of a big batch cocktail. Our fall drink of choice is this Fall Sangria.
- Easy Serving: Use oven-to-table serving ware to help keep food warm, rather than glass or metal baking dishes. If you don't have these serving dishes, label what item goes in which dish ahead of time so you know exactly where everything goes when it comes out of the oven. Dishes that can be served room temperature earn bonus points for making prep less stressful! We recommend serving food and drinks on opposite sides of the room to alleviate traffic.
Searching for easy to make holiday recipes? Here are a few of our favorites:
*Tips courtesy of Martha Stewart