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Well, the holidays are coming quickly. Are you ready for company? Have you started to plan yet? Lucky for you, I will be helping you make your planning easy to do at the last minute. I'm going to share my favorite entertaining tips to make your busy life less stressful.
- Set the table the night before to save you time before the party.
- Set up a playlist before people arrive so the music is always flowing.
- Set up the appetizer on a small platter or two, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until the party.
- Have at least two timers to help you stay on track with cooking.
- Have an area just for drinks so people can serve themselves.
- If it is cold outside, store drinks in a cooler outside.
- Make iced tea and lemonade from scratch to save money the day before.
- Set up a craft table or an activity table for the kids to stay preoccupied.
- Write down the times that food needs to start by starting with the time you want to eat and work your way backward.
- Straighten up the morning of the party and prep food for meals.
- Empty the dishwasher before the company comes over.
- Have your party members help dismantle the tables and chairs.
Set the table the night before to save you time before the party.
This tip I do this all the time. Who says you have to set the table for the day of the party? No one! Set it when you have the time, then do other things. No food will spoil if you set the table early.
Set up a playlist before people arrive so the music is always flowing.
The atmosphere is all about the music. Pick music for the occasion. If it's Christmas, use your favorite Christmas music. Or, if you want more singalong music, pick pieces that are fun and uplifting. If you want a more traditional party, pick music that is more songs without words.
Set up the appetizer on a small platter or two, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until the party.
This is my favorite to keep starters fresh. I like to make things first thing in the morning, then cover them with plastic wrap and pull them out right before the party. It saves me a lot of time with the last-minute setup that needs to be done.
Have at least two timers to help you stay on track with cooking.
I like to use the microwave timer. (Did you know you had one?) and the oven timer. If I am cooking two different sides at once, it helps remind me what I need to do next. Another tip is to write down the time that a meal will finish or set your phone to ring at a particular time so you can finish your dish.
Have an area just for drinks so people can serve themselves.
Keeping your drinks in a different area than your buffet will clear up the crowd that will most likely be around these two areas.
If it is cold outside, store drinks in a cooler outside.
I do this every Thanksgiving, and this year, I put my Lemonade out on the deck to get cold. It worked wonderfully.
Make iced tea and lemonade from scratch to save money the day before.
Powdered lemonade from a wholesale store can serve several people. We make iced tea in a large saucepan. It makes about 16 cups, and we can add sugar or make it sugar-free. Either way, it serves a crowd easily for little money.
Set up a craft table or an activity table for the kids to stay preoccupied.
If you have little ones, giving them something to do is a great way to keep them out of trouble. Go to the nearby craft store and pick up craft kits. These kits are usually $1.00 or less. All you need to buy is Elmer's glue, and the kids can sit around and assemble to their hearts' content. Lay down newspapers or open up paper lawn bags and spread them on the table. It helps with cleanup, too.
Write down the times that food needs to start by starting with the time you want to eat and work your way backward.
If you have several different dishes starting at different times, first, determine the time you want the dish to finish and count backward on how much time it needs to cook as well as how much time you need to prep the food. That will be your start time. Write the time down for each of your dishes. You will easily see what you need to start first, second, etc...
Straighten up the morning of the party and prep food for meals.
When you wake up on the day of the party, put all the stuff you do not need away. It clears the counter so you can prep the food.
Empty the dishwasher before the company comes over.
Have your company help load the dishwasher. We do this all the time and it saves us time after the party.
Have your party members help dismantle the tables and chairs.
Yes, this may not sound very hostess-like, but really, if you are like me, the kids are getting older, and they can haul all the tables and chairs back into the garage easily enough. Remember, don't break your back. Ask for help when you need it.
I hope these entertaining tips help you get your hosting hat on quickly and make your party stress-free. Leave a question in the comment area below, and I will reply as soon as possible. Don't forget to check out more of our Entertaining tips.
Check out these other experts on hosting a party!
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