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Organized Entertaining

The holidays provide us with a wonderful opportunity to entertain our family and friends, catch up on old times, and make new memories that we will cherish for years to come. Whether you plan on entertaining two or twenty-two guests, organization is key to a stress-free and successful gathering.

How many times do you think about having a few friends over, maybe your co-workers, or perhaps your neighbours? Sounds like a great idea. Then you start thinking about what to serve, how to decorate, do you have enough glasses, napkins, cutlery or plates, and so on. Chances are your thoughts go on overdrive and you become overwhelmed at the thought of getting everything done. So, you give up on your wonderful idea of hosting a holiday party. However, by being organized you can remove that burden of stress and enjoy planning and entertaining in true holiday style. We’ve compiled a list for you to use as a guideline to help you start planning your holiday entertaining. By following our suggestions you will be organized, prepared, and ready to party with your special guests. The earlier you start planning your party, the more time you have to prepare.

One Month Prior

  1. As soon as possible choose the date, time, and theme of the party.

  2. Rent tablecloths, stemware, cutlery, plates, hot plates, ice bucket, serving platters, etc. if needed.

  3. Reserve caterer, bartender, food servers, or house cleaners. The sooner you contact these service providers, the better. Good caterers often require at least two months notice.

  4. Create your guest list and send the invitations. Make sure all pertinent information is included in the invitation, including RSVP date and contact info. You should invite your guests 3 - 4 weeks before the event, but don’t worry. Last minute get-togethers without much lead time can also be fun and enjoyable. It’s your guests and the enjoyable time they have that truly matters.

Three Weeks Prior

  1. Choose the menu.

  2. Make a list of ingredients you need to buy. Pick up any non-perishable items.

  3. Buy paper plates or napkins that you require. Keep in mind the theme of your party. Don’t forget cocktail napkins and plates.

  4. Prepare any food items that can be prepared now and frozen for later use.

Two Weeks Prior

  1. If you’re having a sit down dinner, set the table exactly as you would on the day of the party. If you plan on using real floral arrangements, use a plate or platter approximately the same size to give you an idea of spacing. Decide on linens you will use.

  2. Purchase all beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

  3. Call guests who have not yet RSVP’d.

  4. Call caterer and service providers to confirm details.

One Week Prior

  1. Clean your house. Not a surface clean, but a deep cleaning of your home. Clean up the clutter and put away any unnecessary items.

  2. Run a rag or duster in corners/ceilings to eliminate any cobwebs.

  3. Clean your fridge and microwave.

  4. Start decorating the rooms where the party is taking place.

  5. Purchase candles if required. Make sure you have a lighter to light them. Lightly scented candles are acceptable other than in the dining room where only unscented candles should be used.