Are you planning to host a family gathering for the holiday season? Having extra people in the house is a guaranteed way to make more memories but can also be a little stressful if you’re not prepared. Here are a few of my best tips for enjoying your guests with low stress.
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Easy Entertaining Tips for the Holidays
Choose Simple Meals
When you have extra people in the house, meals should be special but not stressful. We know that we can always rely on my husband to fire up the grill and create a tasty meal on the deck while I finish up the easy sides in the kitchen. One of our favorites is grilled salmon! Don’t be overwhelmed with the idea of grilling fresh Alaskan seafood. Just sign up and order a box of wild Alaska seafood hand-delivered right to your door. Then fire up the grill, slice up a few lemons, and lay the salmon right on the lemon slices. Add a few seasonings if you like and just like that, you’re set for supper!
Maybe you are wondering how salmon can be delivered from Alaska to Kentucky and be safe to eat. I have tried this service twice and both times the salmon has arrived completely frozen in a box with cubes of dry ice. It has been a perfect experience which I definitely recommend!
Sign up for your own Sitka Salmon Shares box of fresh Alaskan seafood or send it as a gift to your host!
Tip: Think ahead about your guest’s special diet. We have a family member who has special dietary needs so grilled food is the way to go for the meat when he arrives. I also make sure that I stock a few specialty items that are perfect for him so he is not left out. A little thought and planning ahead of time make everyone’s meal time easier, tastier and safer!
Keep the Agenda Simple
One thing my husband and I have learned when entertaining is that the agenda should be simple. Provide plenty of snacks and drinks to keep people from being hungry, ensure that there are adequate places to sit, play some background music and let the gathering evolve. We regularly have the opportunity to have our family in our home and look forward to the noise, the music, and the conversation that organically happens. There is not a full agenda of how to entertain the company – just an environment that fosters chatter, interactions, and lots of laughter.
We make sure that there are several places to sit around the piano where the music always unfolds and of course, there are Rook cards in the basket ready for the next game!
Give everyone their own cup
One thing we have always done when we have family visiting our home is to keep a sharpie marker beside the plastic cups. It’s just easier to designate a cup for each member instead of washing dishes constantly or watching the trash bag fill up as fast as everyone finishes their drink. But recently, I’ve been going in a different direction. I now provide a unique cup for each person to use for the entire visit.
I have a Pirani party tumbler that I use every day. It’s a bright teal color and is my go-to water cup. I also recently added a 2nd Pirani cup in a different color for my daughter. We both keep it topped off at all times with water and a slice of lemon. When we have family, we make sure that each guest has a designated cup that they use for their visit. This cuts down on trash and makes it easy to keep everyone hydrated and ready for meals, snack time, and even trips down to the firepit.
Use Smart Dishcloths
When you increase the number of people in the house, the dirty dishes grow as well. That means more paper trash and dish loads. Recently I received two Ecologie dishcloths that equal 10 kitchen sponges and 34 paper towel rolls. The lifespan of a reusable, biodegradable cloth is nine months, and then I will just toss it in the compost. I’ve been using one of these dishcloths for multiple loads of dishes, wiping off the counters, and have even run it through the washing machine. I was really skeptical that something so small could hold up to multiple uses, but have been pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness.
Ecologie is serious about conservation while offering cute designs consumers will want to use and saving money in the process! The Swedish sponge cloths have a highly-absorbent texture, similar to combining a sponge and cloth, absorbing 15 times their weight in water.
Do you love entertaining family and friends over the holiday season? Have you got any special tips that make the holiday get-togethers even more fun? I’d love to hear!