There’s no better time than the holidays to host a gathering of friends and family for a meal or a round of cocktails – but preparations can be stressful. Whether you’re a seasoned host or this is your first go around, it’s easy to get caught up in all the preparations and forget the reason for the season. Here, we’re sharing some of our best suggestions for a stress-free event so you can have as much fun at your Christmas party as all your guests. Read on to find out more.
Stress-Free Guide to Feeding a Crowd Over the Holidays
Hosting a party, whether small and intimate or huge and extended, is a lot of work. Preparation is key to alleviating last-minute panic and ensuring that the celebration is enjoyable for all. Get organised for the big day by first making a plan for the days leading up to it. This includes making any necessary trips to the supermarket, communicating with visitors (through formal invitations or a simple text), and preparing any foods that can be made in advance.
It’s also a good idea to clear out your fridge to create room for party leftovers and try out any new dishes you might be making. If you don’t have the space, it might be worth considering buying mini fridges to ensure you’ve got room for everything.
An event day schedule broken down by the hour is also very useful. Things to remember to do right before guests arrive include final cleaning (checking that the bathroom has enough toilet paper and soap) and cooking. Prepare yourself suitably in advance of the party’s start time so you feel relaxed and can greet your guests happily.
Be Confident With Your Menu
One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of throwing a holiday party is deciding what to serve your guests. Also, keep in mind that some of your guests may have dietary restrictions or allergies, and do your best to accommodate them.
You can opt for a sit-down meal around a table, or you can choose a buffet-style arrangement with lots of finger food. This latter idea can often be best if you want to minimise stress; you could save time and make it easier to please everyone (and yourself) by setting out a spread that allows people to graze as they choose, which will also help to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
Once you’ve decided on a menu, don’t be reluctant to ask visitors to bring a dish or two (particularly appetisers and desserts). In addition to giving your guests an opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills, this will save you a lot of time. One way to cut down on preparation time is to purchase some goods, such as dinner rolls or frozen starters, ready-made.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun
It seems impossible to host a party and enjoy a party at the same time because you feel so much stress and you are so focused on everyone else having a good time, but what’s the point of having a party if you don’t have fun?
Make sure you are able to just relax and enjoy yourself otherwise you’ll regret even getting started.