Hosting at the holidays is a rewarding experience and can be lots of fun, so plan properly and make sure YOU get to partake in it! Making memories for your family, friends and especially the children in your life is a gift you give each guest as a hostess but you don't need to sacrifice your own enjoyment to give it. Here are 7 super tips that not only save time, they allow you to enjoy your own party!
1. Set your table and bar area the day before your party. One less thing to do means more time for you. Take the time for yourself to get ready and feel good - remember you set the mood for your party.
2. Make ahead meals like casseroles are great for holiday entertaining and can be served in one dish. That means less pots to clean and you won't need to cooking during the party. Here are 26 crowd-pleasing holiday casserole recipes from BHG.com>
3. When you put a value on your time, you will discover it can be cheaper to buy certain items for your menu. Here are some I buy rather than make from scratch: Mrs Smith Pies, Costco Guacamole, Trader Joes's Chocolate Croissants, Rice Balls, Tiramisu. Share some of your favorites below.
4. Try No Bake Dessert Ideas - there are over 600 at KraftFoods.com. No baking cuts down on time you need to spend at home preparing for your party and allows you to enjoy holiday time the way you want.
5. Serve a cocktail punch instead of making each guest an individual cocktail (some suggestions: Sparking Cranberry Blush, Napa Valley Winter Punch and Aristocrat Sparkling Punch). Punch gets you out from behind the bar and allows you to toast the holidays with your guests.
6. Clear dishes, rinse and load in dishwasher after each course of a holiday meal. Work as you go so they don't pile up . When everyone leaves you won't be left with a big mess to clean up.
7. Let guests who want to help, this makes many people feel good. Invite them to bring a side dish or dessert or help serve or clear dishes. Enlist the help of teens at the party to watch the little ones for a while so you can join in conversation or eat a hot meal!