Hosting Stress Free Parties takes a little practice, but these practical tips can help you enjoy entertaining.
Enjoy Stress Free Parties.
I like to have people over for get-togethers. Lots of people have a hard time inviting others to their homes. Are you one of them? There are many reasons, but I think it's because they worry that their house is dirty and their friends might judge them harshly. In my experience, friends worth having don't do that.
Let me give you some tips on hosting stress free parties with friends and family. It's not as hard as it seems.
Agree to the "Rules"
Instead of running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, I suggest you agree up front with your friends and family that if you didn't mop the kitchen floor or plan an elaborate meal, it's okay. They don't care. In fact, they probably won't notice.
I suggest you consider these ground rules:
- Keep it simple.
- Make the party a potluck, where everyone brings a dish to share.
- Don't apologize for a messy house.
- Don't run to the grocery store to buy something special to cook.
- But if you are really pressed for time, it's okay to pick up something ready-made at the local store.
- Don't rush to change your clothes. Your guests will wait for you.
- Let everyone pour their own beverages.
- Use disposable dinnerware if it suits you.
- Don't allow teasing or judging.
Remember, the people you invite to these informal gatherings (or people who stop by unexpectedly) are your friends. They are there to see you, not judge you for your cleaning habits. They won't care what your house looks like.
And trust me, their houses are just as dirty. No one vacuums and dusts every day unless they have a very good reason (such as health issues) to do so.
Disaster Strikes All the Darn Time
Anyone who has kids knows you can spend all day cleaning, and your house can go from spotless to disaster in two seconds or less. All it takes is an upside down pizza, a spilled glass of chocolate milk or every Lego your kids own spread all over your freshly vacuumed floor.
Don't run around, picking things up at the last minute and worrying that the kids just trashed the playroom. Take a deep breath and relax. Try to be present when your guests are there. Enjoy them and the evening.
Tips for Quick Meals
I have been cooking for so many years, that I can go to my pantry or freezer and make a stress free meal from whatever I have on hand. If someone stops by unexpectedly, I can handle it. Here are a few tips to help you entertain without stress, whether the party is planned or spontaneous:
- Keep a supply of crackers, chips and salsa on hand.
- Always have a bottle or wine or two and some teabags available.
- Slice some cheese or sausage, put crackers in a basket, and open a bottle of wine.
- Make popcorn.
- Cook a little extra when you make a good stew or meal, and save it in the freezer for a quick meal you can simply thaw and heat.
How about this?
Eggs are generally a good option that most people have on hand. Making a frittata is easy, and everyone can help chop the vegetables or shred the cheese. Try our Cheesy Frittata recipe.
What You Need
Everyone should strive to have a couple of little serving bowls, a platter or something to serve appetizers on, and some decent wine glasses. If you don't have them, add them to your gift wish list. Keep some disposable plates and cutlery in your pantry to keep clean-up to a minimum.
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