Gearing up for the holidays and other events is meant to be an exciting time where you can look forward to spending time with your family and friends.
This can become overshadowed by the prospect of hosting the party at your home, as there is extensive planning involved with this decision. While you want to ensure everyone has a good time, hosting a party at your home must be a manageable affair. From planning your menu in advance to delegating tasks to guests for added help, there are several steps you can take to keep your stress levels down.
Simplicity in your decision-making can help move the process along at a manageable pace. Decorations and meal choices do not need to be extravagant to be impressive. Follow these helpful tips to ensure your party is successful without the presence of added stress distracting you from what is most important.
Make Preparation and Cleanup as Easy as Possible
One of the first steps you can take to prepare for hosting with minimal stress is to plan everything in advance. The more you plan for in advance, the less room for error there is when it comes to executing your plan. There are even apps to help you decorate, plan a meal or manage your time.
Determine how many people you can reasonably accommodate in your home and whether you can confidently prepare a meal and entertain a high volume of people. Considering the simple logistics of the event, such as how large your dining room table is or whether your kitchen can hold enough food for 50 people can help you avoid stress once the day rolls around. If the prospect of having a large party is daunting to you, then opt for having a smaller, more intimate party instead.
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A few days before the party, reach out to the people on your guest list to receive confirmation about attendance at the festivities. In doing so, you are getting an accurate headcount of how many people to expect which can help you manage the subsequent tasks more easily. If your niece decides to invite her new boyfriend at the last minute, then you are going to be prepared for the change in number if you reach out ahead of time to confirm arrivals.
Create Your Menu in Advance
Hosting the festivities in your home is made easier when you create your menu in advance. In doing so, you can accommodate for any potential allergies your family and friends may have and you allow yourself to purchase the ingredients necessary to complete your meal.
You do not want to decide what you are cooking the day before the party, as this can leave room for error when it comes to preparation and execution. Decide what you want to cook at least a week or two beforehand and leave yourself enough time to go food shopping to gather the appropriate supplies.
You can adjust your menu accordingly if the store is out of stock for a particular item or if you happen to find a new recipe that may work better than your existing one.
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Another helpful tip to follow when creating a menu for the party is to reach out to those attending the festivities to see if anyone is willing to help with the meal. Your aunt may want to bring a salad and your brother may want to bake a pie for dessert. By delegating the meal responsibilities, you are giving yourself less to handle on your own and you are including your family in the process. Start by asking who may be willing to provide appetizers, side dishes, and desserts and plan your menu around the response you receive.
If you only have to handle the main components of the meal, then you can significantly reduce your stress and reduced the amount of time you need to be in the kitchen on the day of the party. This technique can also help you to keep the costs of the event down, especially if you have a large number of people showing up.
Keep Decorations Simple
Many people feel as though decorations need to be extravagant and detailed to look presentable, but you do not need to go overboard when you are deciding on decorations for your party. Many of your decorations may already be in place prior to the event you are hosting, and this can go a long way toward creating the ambiance you are striving for before guests arrive.
For example, if you are hosting your family for Christmas and have already gone through the task of setting up your tree and stringing Christmas lights, then you do not need to buy additional decorations for the party. You may want to purchase a few new things for hosting purposes, but the more time you spend purchasing and arranging decorations, the more stressed you may feel.
When you are decorating your table for the holidays, select simple choices that still look festive and elegant. Purchase a tablecloth matching the colors in your home or a particularly striking piece of art or décor. You can use the existing plates and silverware you already have if you have a matching set. The same goes for the plates, bowls and glasses you intend to use for the party. You can dig out candles you used for previous parties and relight them to create a comforting atmosphere without going through the trouble of finding brand new candles and candle holders. Look around your home and repurpose items as tablescapes. Collections of small antiques or bringing in fresh cut flowers from your garden can really add personal touches to your table.
If you know you are going to host kids at your holiday party and want to have a designated table for the kids, then consider purchasing paper plates and plastic cups for the children to use. In doing so, you are reducing the stress that comes along with the potential of breaking items during the serving and eating process. Many dollar stores sell themed plates and cups you can purchase for a party without breaking your budget or spending time looking for kid-friendly items.
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