Stress-less Tips For Entertaining
Seize Command. Don't forget that in your household,
you are not just a house cleaner, a shopper, a cook
or an entertainer. You are the boss. Enlist your
team of helpers (friends and family, that is) to get
ready for your gathering.
2. Make A Punch List. Place a list of tasks on the
refrigerator a week before the party, and be sure to
save it for the next time. If you live with others,
get everyone in your house to help. The tasks
include shopping, cleaning before and after the
party, welcoming guests, putting someone in charge
of the guest book and taking people's coats.
3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Put your guests to
work. They'll love it. And be creative. Have a
couple of friends come over one or two hours before
the party. It's a great way to introduce them to
each other. (Throughout the year, I have friends
"fight" to be pre-party helpers.) It's a chance to
spend some fun, personal time together.
4. Bake In Bulk. Choose a few of your favorite
recipes and double, triple or triple again,
depending on the size of your party. I find
appetizers are always a good choice, because you
want to make sure your guests have something to eat
when they arrive.
5. Work The Alphabet. If you're into the idea of a
potluck, for the party invitations (I send mine
through e-mail), organize your guests by their last
name. Request those with last names from A to D
bring salads; those from E to H, side dishes; I to
N, drinks; O to Z, desserts or anything they want.
6. Show Off. Have your talented friends bring their
musical instruments. Set up a couple of board games
around the house. It is a great way for your guests
to get to know each other. For one party, I invited
my Chinese and American friends over and came up
with a "game" about the cultural differences between
the United States and China. The winner received a
set of chopsticks and a box of chocolates.
7. Anticipate. Prepare your appetizers ahead of
time. Sit back, enjoy and have a good time.