The holidays are here, everyone is happy, laughing and singing! You are hosting the gathering this year and whether its your 1st time or a tradition that you take on every year, things can get very tricky if you don’t plan. How does the saying go? “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail?” This also applies to holiday dinners. You ever been at someone’s holiday meal and there is not enough food or places for people to sit? (I’m sorry but I do not want to eat my meal standing up.) What about the soiree’s where everyone shows up LATE or uninvited? (they come after the prayer and leave BEFORE its time to clean up) What is your policy on to go plates? Do you have one? All of these things are important factors when it comes to hosting anything. I am a firm believer in planning and laying down rules for gatherings that I am hosting. For instance:
No you will not bring people that I did not invite.
No you will not show up late.
No you will not take nothing if you didn’t bring nothing.
No your children will not run amok.
Call it what you want, but I set the rules when I host! Holiday meal planning does not have to be hard or complicated. Here are my 3 Tips To Help You Take The Drama Out Of Holiday Meal Planning!
Make sure you know how many AND who is coming!
Get a head count. Use RSVP’s for this and it doesn’t have to be complicated. If it’s a family thing, invite the family but get confirmation of exactly who is coming. If it is more a formal thing then figure out who you want to invite, invite them and again, get confirmation. It does not have to be formal. Call them, e-mail them, whatever, but get a confirmation. It may not seem important, but I have been to many a get-together where there wasn’t enough food or drink for the invited guests while all the uninvited guest were wrapping up and taking all the food.
Plan your menu and don’t be afraid to accept help!
For the BIG meals, menu’s must be planned. Figure out how many people you are feeding and plan accordingly. In my family, people always offer to help. Don’t be afraid to allow them to. Ask people what they want to bring and include it in the menu. If Auntie SuchandSuch makes great potato salad, then let her bring that. My dad likes to bake. I don’t. So I let him bring the desserts, and he is glad to do it. It makes for a wonderful variety of items and saves the host time and money. After confirming and compiling a list of things that people want to bring, send out the entire menu to everyone. Once everyone knows what to expect, they can start gathering their ingredients as well as add to the list or make suggestions, if there is something missing.
Set a start/end time and stick to it!
If its supposed to start at 4pm, start it at 4pm. This means that your guests need to be arriving at least a half hour beforehand. Don’t be scared to insist on this. That whole “CP time” thing is a bunch of BullShit!! (If you don’t know what “CP Time” is, Google it.) I expect people to be punctual. Habitual lateness is, in my opinion, disrespectful and rude. Hosting is not easy. As much as you may adore your family and friends, even they need a cut off point. Don’t wear yourself out. Set the guidelines for your own sanity. When its time for people to go I just start giving people their coats.
This is not an OFFICIAL tip but…Make sure there’s plenty of wine!
By no means am I saying for you to be mean about the whole thing. But holidays are supposed to be joyous and fun for everyone including the host. Take the drama out of it with my 3 easy holiday meal planning tips, so that you too can enjoy time with your family. Close friends and relatives may complain initially about any changes that you make or rules that you lay down, but really… Who cares? right!? This is all for their own good! Have a great holiday everyone!!