The holidays are once again quickly approaching and as much as we plan and plan and plan, there is always something that gets left behind. This year, don’t let it be you…
I don’t know about you but it’s sometimes a stressful time in our home trying to plan a holiday dinner (mostly because my partner suffers from pre-party stress). Luckily I have some pointers on how to have a successful holiday party.
- FIRST, grab some booze. You’re going to need it. (kidding, sort of…)
- Plan out who you want to invite to get a head count.
- While you’re waiting for people to RSVP, line out your menu. Don’t worry, you can adjust the quantity once you receive the final count of the attendees. Also, don’t forget to include yourself in that count.
- Make a list of any decorations you’ll need, place settings, candles, music playlist, grocery lists, and more booze. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring something either.
- Grab someone to help you pull this off. That would be the boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, friend, family member. ANYONE. Hopefully they’ll have some decorating and food capabilities. You can divide and conquer by splitting the lists.
I think that’s pretty much it for the order of things. Now to put everything into play. I’m assuming you completed all the items on your lists and it’s smooth sailing from here. If you still need to grab a few items, try to grab them at least the day before so you can spend the day of the event prepping and organizing.
I would definitely try to pre-clean your place a day or two before so that you’re not having to clean the same time you’re prepping and cooking. Trust me on this. Been there, done that. Not good. Better yet, grab your person from #5 and have them help. I would preset your dining table with your dishes and centerpiece early. Also, if you’re having dessert, you can premake pies ahead of time by a few days. They’ll keep and they’ll have time to settle.
Get all your food items prepped. If you’re cooking a turkey or ham, prep it and get it ready for the oven, deep fryer, smoker, or however you’re going to cook it. This way all you have to do is pop it in. Next, work on any appetizers. If they are delicate and they won’t last hours sitting around, just prep them and compose them just before your guests arrive. From here you’ll work on your side dishes. You can toss your salad but just don’t dress it until it’s time to eat.
Don’t forget to clean as you go. Empty the dishwasher when you’re finished with the prep and cooking. As each course is finished, you can pop the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and once it’s full you can run it while having dessert. If you don’t have a dishwasher, well, you’re just going to have a sink full of dishes until after dinner…This is a good time to enlist the help of your guests. Do the dishes after dinner but before dessert.
And that’s it! After all the dishes are washed, the guests have left, pour yourself another glass of whatever and relax. You pulled off another successful holiday dinner without too much fuss (hopefully).
You can read the original article and more in the November issue of KWIR Magazine.