Holiday entertaining doesn't need to be a hair-pulling, teeth-grinding experience every year. Before getting overwhelmed with to-do lists, grocery lists and guest lists, take a moment to relax and gather some tips to get you through this hectic time of year.
For invaluable advice from real women, check out these entertaining tips to pull off an effortless-looking (and feeling) event:
“From a decade of PR experience in the hospitality and lifestyle arenas, I know how far the little things go when planning a gathering. Most importantly, I focus on my guests. I choose a guest list with chemistry, give ample notice of the party and make sure there's enough seating for everyone, with room for more.
Laura Serena, Vancouver, BC
“Preparation, preparation, and preparation is a must. The more you can socialize with your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen, the better for everyone. Fondues make an easy way to get people together, it's a great idea for the guests to pick what they want to eat (especially if some have allergies).
Diane Belo, Brampton, ON
Potlucks are always easy for entertaining, as the host pick a foreign country and make that the theme of the meal. Male sure one person is designated a course of the meal (appetizers, dessert etc.), and don't tell each other what you're bringing.
We end up learning interesting facts about the country pertaining to the types of food normally prepared and why. This type of entertaining provides interesting topics of discussion as well -- tailor it for the holidays and you'll have a guaranteed hit.
Jill Martin, Brampton, ON
Make a detailed chronological list of things that need to be done up to a day or two in advance and stick to it. If possible, get someone else to do some of the work -- set-up, dishwashing, and clearing are all easy jobs to pay someone to do and it leaves you with plenty of time to spend with your guests.
Caley Pestl, Scarborough, ON