A lot of folks find it overwhelming to entertain guests. My daughter finds it exhausting to plan a get together for friends and thinks it's "the hardest thing ever, Mom." She worries about everything, from how to decorate, what to serve, where everyone will sit in her apartment, the list goes on and on. But planning a party shouldn't be hard! The rules for planning parties are keep it simple and don't overdo it! The idea is to enjoy and make sure everybody is having a good time; whoever says they went to a "perfect" party? But we all remember the FUN parties!
A few more tips to easy entertaining are as follows:
1. Your home is beautiful, small touches using color and texture to accessorize what's already there will make the place look great and make going back to normal the next day a cinch! Some fresh flowers in a vase always adds a touch of flora to the mix of fauna you will have over.
2. Have an area off to the side for a drinks set up - glasses, ice bucket (a pot will do), wine/beer, vodka/whiskey unless it's a theme party, soft drinks and a mocktail option. Keep bulky extra beer and wine nearby, but away from the setup. Remember, sparkling water or club soda can change and freshen up any drink.
3. Set up hor d'oeuvres in the hangout area and bring in some easy-to-prepare or store bought goodies (Trader Joe's anyone?) - good cheeses and fruits pairings, olives, nuts dips and bread (crostini!). if you are doing a dinner party, forget that, and have everyone bring something with them!
Make simple tea sandwiches or a deconstructed salad.
4. Use your dishwashable, if you have a dishwasher, or disposable plates and cutlery, some of which can be re-used, to make cleaning up that much easier.
5. Get a friend or significant other to set up the playlist and make sure to use your veto power once they are done. Or find one you like on youtube and save it for later. Unless you're hosting a dance party, music should be audible but soft so people don't need to yell to have a conversation.
Voila, we're ready to celebrate an evening at home with friends! No one cares if you didn't serve a home cooked meal but they will appreciate that you took the time to arrange for them to get together, which is what really matters. Now, take the time to send that evite and have some friends over this holiday season!