I seriously love this time of year. The fabulous weather, all of the holidays, and people actually making time to get together. Whether friends are coming over or just family, it is great to spend time and fellowship with each other. Taking the time out of our busy schedules to relax and enjoy it other is what it should all be about.
But sometimes planning a party can be hectic, stressful and more trouble than it is worth!! I want to share with you a few tips that can make hosting your own party just a little easier.
First of all, don't try to over do it. People are coming more for the time together than all the fancy decorations or foods. Keep things simple, but at the same time fun and festive.
Ask for help! I just recently had friends over and asked each one of them to bring either an appetizer or side dish so that I didn't have to make all the food. Other people like to share some of their favorite dishes and this will also ensure that they like some of the food at the party. I have a few friends that are picky eaters and while I try to make things they like, sometimes it is just not what they want. By having them bring a dish, it ensures there is something at the party that they will eat.
Have the kids help out. My kids are getting to the age where they want to help do things. While most of the time there isn't much they are able to do, I try to find one project that they can help with. This could be as simple as putting out the napkins, counting the silverware, hanging decorations.. The kids feel like they have helped and it gets them out of your hair for a bit. If they are too much in your way, might I suggest the Penalty Pal. Great tool to use to keep your kid in one spot while they need a time out. Have them place their hand on the Penalty Pal where they must stay until they have calmed down. (I know, not always easy to get them to calm down!!)
As far as the food, don't try to make it all yourself. Getting already cooked or prepared items is OK!! It will cut down on the time you need to prepare things and it gives you time to make one or two items handmade. Less stress!! And don't forget about using your slow cooker! Let things cook while you are making other preparations.