Whether you’re inviting a couple of friends or the entire family, preparing your home (and yourself) hosting can be stressful. Here are a few simple tips to help you not only survive the day, but also enjoy yourself:
Make a plan. How many people are coming? What’s on the menu? Do you have enough seating? Making a to-do list ahead of time will help you prioritize everything you need to complete before the big day. Getting it done now instead of waiting until the last minute will help ease your mind. Also, don’t be scared to delegate. Enlisting the help of your guests makes them feel useful and gives you one less thing to do.
Gather your tools. Once the menu is set, review your tableware, serving dishes and cookware to make sure you have what you need. Borrow or buy what you’re missing and don’t be ashamed to choose disposable options so you don’t have to worry about doing the dishes, too!
Make the most of your space. If you’re serving off a buffet table, consider tiered servers, which hold your items vertically, instead of horizontally, maximizing your space and creating an attractive display.
Decorate for the senses. While taste and smell are obviously the forerunners on Thanksgiving, don’t forget about the other three. Put one of your guests in charge of music, include a subtle centerpiece on the main dining table and be sure to set out finger-foods to keep people from bugging you in the kitchen.
Enjoy the results. Most importantly, don’t get so caught up playing hostess that you forget to have a good time. Even if you don’t realize it, as the hostess, you set the tone for the party. Forget about perfection and focus on what matters.