With the holidays just around the corner, I thought I’d share with you my list of the top ten things you can do to make entertaining fun and easy for you and your guests. These are just off the top of my head and I may drop a few more on you as we draw nearer the holidays.
1. Do as much ahead of time as humanly possible. I can’t emphasize this enough. If it can be frozen, freeze it. Except for lighting candles, almost everything can be done ahead of time. I have even set the table a week ahead and covered it with a sheet.
2. Start with an empty dishwasher. Always, always, always start with an empty dishwasher no matter you are serving 4 or 44.
3. Let people help. If someone asks for a job, give them one: put ice in the glasses, pour water, etc. – anything that requires little instruction.
4. Music is lovely, but make sure guests don’t need to shout to be heard.
5. Use the good stuff. That’s why you have it.
6. If you can only clean one room, make it the bathroom. Put out fresh hand towels. This is not optional.
7. Keep the lights on the low side and no one will notice that the only room you cleaned was the bathroom.
8. Receive compliments graciously. When someone says, “Oh your home is lovely!” the only acceptable response to this is “Thank you!” Do not say that you wish you had a larger laundry room or that you hate your kitchen layout.
9. Never ever stress about something not turning out right in front of your guests. They won’t remember what wasn’t up to par. They will remember that you fretted over it. A harried hostess makes guests uncomfortable.
10. The single most important thing you can do as a hostess is to enjoy your company. Once your guests arrive, it’s time to focus on them. Whatever is undone shall remain undone.
10.1 No flaming pineapples.