I love this time of year as it is a time of celebration and I am a natural “party girl”. I picked up the Globe and Mail yesterday and read some great inspiring suggestions for holiday drinks paired with food (more on that later). In the meantime, all of the party articles made me ask myself – what makes a party easy?
Here are a few of my own tips:
Planning, planning, and planning – This is usually done in the form of LISTS (I am a master list-maker, sometimes much to the amusement of family and friends): who to invite, what food to buy, what drinks to serve and when, a timed schedule for preparation and serving of food, what music to play, what tasks are required before, after, and during the party, and the list goes on…
Having someone to help – especially during the party – I watch many hosts / hostesses try to do too much themselves – prepare and serve food, greet guests, pour drinks, and talk to friends. Even if you love preparing for a party so that you can showcase your incredible culinary talent or creativity, it is hard to be caring about your guests’ needs as well as having a conversation with them. When my children were teenagers, I would engage them (and some of their friends) to help with my parties. When they left home, I went back to doing everything myself. My regret at the end of the day was that I never spent as much time as I wanted with my friends. And friends are the reason for celebrating. Now, I look forwarding to helping my children and friends when they entertain to make their parties go easier.
Clean-up is part of the process – When I am amongst good company, I am one of those people who piles dishes, and I am happy to do them “later” because I don’t want to detract from the social occasion. However when throwing a party, I find that piling before or during becomes a distraction from the enjoyment of the occasion. Furthermore the “pile” becomes overwhelming at the end of the day when you are exhausted or it becomes worse than a hangover the next day. So I try to clear as much away as possible – as I go.
Be prepared for spills – Whether it is food that has dribbled or a whole bottle of red wine that hit the floor, it’s much easier to reduce the damage with an immediate “first-aid kit” at hand. So whether your preferred solution is paper towel or chamois, baking soda or “wine-out”, have a few of your favourite tools handy. Don’t be searching in the basement or pantry for them while the Shiraz soaks into your favourite armchair.
Who doesn’t love a party? Parties should be fun – not another source of stress in your life. Hope these few tips help make your next party an even more fun time!
Share your best stress-reducing party tips with us…