Holiday entertaining can be FUN for the hostess! Here are a few tips from Inviting Arkansas Publisher/Owner Michele Towne for a guaranteed good time.
Michele is renowned and beloved as the “hostess with the mostest” around the Capital City, and she’s sharing her secrets to SUCCESS!
- Time Management – First rule in hosting: all cleaning, decorating and cooking should be completed BEFORE the first guest walks through the front door. You don’t want the distraction of finishing last-minute tasks when you should be entertaining and mingling. Break your planning down to a manageable schedule. How do you eat an elephant…
- Menu Planning – Decide if buffet style or a sit-down dinner will best suit your party. I never host a formal dinner for any more than my dining room table can hold, which is why I prefer the former option for most of my gatherings. (By the way, my homemade pimento cheese is a crowd FAVORITE. Holler if you want the recipe!) If you don’t have time to prepare yourself, I recommend Trios or Capers for your catering needs – be sure to look at their holiday menus!
- Beverages – I always have vodka and a white + red wine at the ready. During the holidays, I also include champagne or sparkling wine. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, my friends over at Colonial Wines & Spirits have a thorough “Stress-Free Holiday & Christmas Entertaining” guide on their website that even includes some delicious cooking tips and recipes. Remember: always pour the first drink for your guests – after that, they’re on their own!
- Designate Space in your home for coats and purses to avoid clutter. After all, you just spent the entire afternoon cleaning! You don’t want coats and belongings strewn through the house, and you want your guests to know their belongings are all together in a safe location. Don’t forget, a considerate host or hostess always takes a guest’s coat for them.
- Organizational Tip – keep the bar separate from the food to keep the flow of the rooms streamlined. I’m all about efficiency, honey.
Once you’ve made all the necessary preparations, remember the reason for the season and gathering together friends and family. Don’t get so lost in planning + execution that it robs you of the joy of fellowship.