This time of year is a great time to gather with friends and family, and there’s nothing better than ringing in the New Year with those we love. But when you’re the host, your stress levels might stop you from truly enjoying the party. The good news is there are simple steps you can take to ensure a great time for everyone.
You’ve made it through the white elephant gift party at work, and baked those cookies for your kids’ parties at school, which means you’ve almost made it through the holidays. However, if you’re one of the thousands of Americans hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner or bringing together family and friends at the beginning of 2016, the party isn’t over yet.
One of the best ways to show your guests a good time is to have a good time yourself. Hosting a dinner party doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as you follow a few simple tips.
How to Host a Stress-Free Dinner Party:
- Give your guests something to do. Often, party guests want to help with something. Instead of telling them you’ve got it covered, get them chopping vegetables, filling water glasses or other simple tasks that will help them to feel useful and take a bit of the stress off your plate.
- Set up a kids table. Having something for your smallest guests to do will allow everyone to have a bit more fun. Try covering a table in butcher paper and providing crayons. Kids can also be in charge of answering the door or taking guests’ coats.
- Ditch the after-dinner dish cleanup. As tempting as it might be to clean the dishes right after everyone finishes eating, this is time you can be spending with your guests. The dishes will still be waiting for you at the end of the night. Tip: Try to clean pots and other dishware as you finish using it when you’re cooking so you have fewer dishes to clean at the end of the evening.
- Don’t focus on what went wrong. Are the vegetables overcooked? Did the mashed potatoes not turn out like the last time you made them? There’s no reason to mention it to your guests – it will only sour the dining experience. Serve your dishes with a smile and just enjoy sitting down to a meal with friends and family.
- Remember the why. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, remember why you are hosting a party – to spend an enjoyable time with your guests. Don’t get too caught up in things that didn’t go just as planned, and make sure you take the time to mingle with your guests while enjoying a cup of coffee or that tasty dessert (and if you need a recipe for the latter, try this healthy grain- and dairy-free sweet potato pie; no need to feel bad about going back for seconds, and you can make it the day before to save time!).
Just remember: With the New Year comes new opportunities to appreciate the small things — like enjoying get-togethers with family and friends.
Do you have any tips to share for hosting a stress-free dinner party? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. And happy New Year from all of us at Renown Health!