Article by Amos Cooper Jr., Bull City Butler
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and with that comes all the stress of hosting friends and family during the holiday season. Don’t let the stress of entertaining ruin your cheer. With a few quick tips and proper planning your guest will think you are a pro.
For starters, if you are not a pro at entertaining, start early. I cannot stress this enough. Proper planning is key and remember the old proverb, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Plan slowly and allow yourself enough time, that said don’t overthink it.
Comfortable Guest List
Since you already know the occasion pick a date and then move forward with the guest list.
It doesn’t matter if you are having an intimate friends/family gathering or a big holiday soiree, be mindful and sensitive to your guest list. You always want the right mix and want to avoid any uncomfortable or undesired interactions. I can hold court with any chatty Cathy but too many in an intimate setting can be exhausting.
Food For All
Next on to one of my favorite parts, FOOD! Keeping in mind the guest list you should know if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies to be aware of. Most people that have severe allergies or peculiar dietary restrictions usually plan not to eat when attending gatherings but it’s nice to always have at least one option or try to reasonably accommodate. I always make sure I have a veggie option and hummus is a crowd-pleasing vegan option. One of my best keep secrets is Trader Joes. They have some of the best entertaining grabs and you can literally look like a rockstar by grabbing things off the shelf in placing them on your own platters. They also have great flowers that will complete any spread. For larger gatherings places like Sam’s, BJ’s or Costco will be your bestfriend.
Become a Master
By the way, do yourself a favor & pick one element and kill it. Every element doesn’t have to be 5 stars. I know we all do it for the 'likes' these days, but save yourself the extra stress and headache.
Less Clean Up
My last tip would be to use disposables. There are all types of paper, plastic, fancy plastic, and compostable party supplies on the market that are just as nice as the real stuff. I recently stumbled upon bowls made out of pressed palm leaves that were compostable and made for a nice rustic Fall table setting.
Most Importantly... Relax!
Remember that once the guests arrive to relax and enjoy the party. Everything will not always be 100%, things will be forgotten or overlooked along the way but it’s very important that your guests not feel like they have stressed you out. You don’t ever want to make them feel like they are a burden. So, remember to put your favorite beverage in hand and enjoy the festivities!
Thank you for reading! Follow me over on @bullcitybutler for more of my event planning and concierge, as I provide savvy and detailed service for clients managing their personal, professional or social commitments.