Do you ever feel like some people excel at entertaining and seem to pull it off with ease and that you’re not one of them? You aren’t alone. But as a formerly horrible hostess, I’m here to tell you my top three essential tips for easy family entertaining. You too can learn to thrive as a host, rather than hide.
Tip #1: Advance planning and preparation
There are LOADS of things you can get done days ahead of when you are hosting. Here’s a handy checklist of items I like to get done in the week ahead of the event:
• Make sure all table linens and guest bath towels are clean and ready for ‘placement’ when the time is ready the day of.
• Make your meal plan and see how much of it you can buy, cook, and prepare in advance (like chopping all salad ingredients the day beforehand, and making the soup & freezing it the weekend before).
• Schedule out what rooms need to get cleaned and when. I like to give all those rooms a good deep clean the weekend prior and then spot clean throughout the week. That way, come time for your mother-in-law to use your bathroom, it’s still sparkling.
Tip #2: Use all the tools and technologies at your disposal
Does your oven have a warming drawer? Or maybe you’ve got fridge drawers big enough for your entire cheese platter. Or maybe you have an outdoor kitchen to help with double duty. Look at all the appliances, indoor and out, and figure out how they can help you cook, serve, and enjoy your meal and time with family.
Tip #3: Set the mood and lead by example
Years of stressing out about food that is slightly colder than it should be or mismatched table linens have taught me some valuable lessons. The most important one is, as a host I have the opportunity to set the tone of the get-together and that a happy relaxed host has happy relaxed guests.
Once the table is set, the music is on, the drinks are cold, and the food is waiting for hungry hands I fling the door open and let the chips fall where they may. And I mean that both literally and figuratively. If crumbs and messes happen there is likely a great story behind why Uncle Jim sent wine across the table. I’d rather focus on the funny story than the wine stain, after all, that’s what washing machines are for anyways right?!
So there you have it. My three essential tips for easy family entertaining – and you know what, if you only pick one: pick number three and just enjoy time with your family and all the mess it brings.
Isabelle, Your Appliance Expert