holiday entertaining By Jen Wead
Are you hosting the holiday festivities this year? Some people have no
idea how stressful this can be to the host. Some of us know this feeling all too
well, but love hosting the biggest family event of the year. If you are anything
like me, you are also the only one with their hair in a bun, stains on her clothes
and no makeup. Just me? Oh, well, I may not be the most kempt hostess, but
the food is always good and the house always looks great!
With that said, is there an easier way? I researched all of the hospitality
bloggers to see how they weigh in and there were some definitive tips that
remained consistent with all of them. Remember that this can be as simple or
elaborate as you would like. You can cook the food yourself or order it prepared,
the goal is to make the day of the gathering as stress free as possible.
Follow these steps and you are sure to achieve peace and joy this holiday
1. Forget perfection. Why do we beat ourselves up over every little
detail that no one notices? Stay simple and organized, and wrap your brain
around this concept: Imperfect is beautiful! Your people will be so grateful to
be there, and that, my friend, is real perfection.
2. Get your deep cleaning done the week before your party.
Take stock of paper products, etc. The day before the party tidy up any new
mess and refresh the toiletries.
3. Make a list of every holiday dish that you would love to
serve your guests and don’t leave anything out. Now cross off everything
that is stressful to prepare, unavailable or causes anxiety. Circle all
of the dishes that are absolute must-haves. What is left is your ideal menu.
Go with it!
4. Make your grocery list (or food order list) the week before
and get your shopping done 2-3 days beforehand. If you have it
available to you, you can order your groceries for pick up or delivery and
avoid the dreaded store. Break your menu up into prep and label them for 2
and 1 days before and then “Day Of.” Try to get as much done in advance
as possible. Wash and chop
veggies. Build casseroles and
marinate everything. The goal
is to simply heat, combine or pull
out of the fridge on the day of.
Experience the joy of crossing off
tasks throughout the week as you
work your way towards the day
of your party.
5. Drinks - Don’t kill
yourself trying to stock a
bar with everything that you
think your guests will like.
Pick one or two signature drinks
and make them in advance. Set
up a perfect self-serve bar or hire
a bartender. The same applies
to non-alcoholic beverages.
Choose a few crowd pleasers
and do them well. Apple cider
and hot chocolate bars are always
6. Don’t wait until the last minute to get dressed and ready.
Choose your outfit the day before, from head to toe, including accessories
and lay them out for easy access. Set an alarm for 2 hours before guest
arrival and break off to get ready for the party. Dress comfortably and keep
your hair and accessories simple so that they aren’t distracting when you finish
your party prep. When that first guest arrives, you will be looking great and
ready to get the party started. Happy Holidays.
Here are some ideas for
your own Hot Chocolate Bar
•Hot Cocoa (mix, packets, K-cups or homemade)
•Marshmallows (mini, Mallow Bits, dehydrated, peppermint – any variety!)
•Chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips, butterscotch, peanut butter)
•Candy canes – whole for stirring, crushed for sprinkles
•Caramel – sauce or Kraft Caramel Bits
•PEEPS Marshmallows (they are an adorable hot cocoa topper!)
•Cookies – Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes are a nice choice
•Finely chopped nuts
•Ovation Chocolate Sticks or Peppermint Poles
•Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua or other favorite spirits
•Pretty straws or spoons
•Mugs or To Go Cups (eco-friendly, of course)
•Candy Cane Spoons
36 • DECEMBER 2019 813.682.9364 FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE