Hosting a get-together any time of year, but particularly during this holiday season, can be a bit overwhelming. Keep these pointers in mind to get through it all:
Do choose your guests wisely. Make sure that the group has ‘chemistry’ with enough differences to spike up conversation and keep it interesting.
Do make sure that there are approximately an equal number of males to females.
Don’t over-invite. Sometimes ‘the more the merrier’ just doesn’t work in a small space in which case an intimate dinner party would be the way to go.
Do make sure that there is enough room for all – let your space guide your maximum number of guests.
Don’t take this occasion to play mediator between two conflicting parties at war.
Do’nt overwork yourself to the extent that you can hardly stand straight and you struggle to control those yawns before your guests have even arrived.
Do pace yourself. Prepare ahead of time as much as you can. A good party needs a hostess that is alive and full of energy.
Do choose your menu wisely and don’t unconsciously impose your dietary preferences on anyone.
Do accept help from others. If guests offer to bring something, or even better, to help out with one of the mains, don’t hesitate to say yes.
Do take a deep breath and relax. With all the hustle and bustle of cooking and preparing, it’s easy to get caught up in making everything perfect.
Don’t forget it’s a party and parties are meant to be fun.
Do have a drink and relax but don’t overdo it and get too wild or you’ll have a lot more mess to clean up than the dirty dishes.
Do over-estimate the amount of food and drink you will need - it’s better than running out. The last thing you need is for your alcohol supply to be cut short in the middle of the evening.
Do keep the food and drinks flowing all night and keep your eye out for what needs refilling on the table and whose glasses are almost empty instead of waiting for a guest to request something… just keep ‘em coming.
Do place a scented candle or incense in the washroom and an extra roll of toilet paper.
Do decorate the room with lots of cozy candlelight.
Do use white dishes and your best crystal.
Don’t underestimate the party power of a few good games.
Do wait until your guests leave before you start cleaning up. This is a sure way to make your guests feel like they should leave.
Don’t forget about music. Keep it upbeat and varied. Prepare a selection that is good for dancing, something to get even the stiffest of guests going.