It’s that busy time of year when we all seem to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Between shopping for Christmas gifts, attending special events and attempting to cross everything off your to-do list you probably think you don’t have time for much else. Holiday entertaining? Perhaps just the thought of it makes your eyes roll, but what if I told you that holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be complicated? That’s right! Today I’m sharing the Simple Gal’s Guide to Easy Holiday Entertaining that will make hosting a dinner party a breeze.
Maybe you don’t believe me, but just trust me. You CAN pull off a holiday dinner party during the busiest yet most wonderful time of the year. I know because I’ve been there and done it. I’ve tried it and failed and learned what NOT to do. I’ve learned to keep things simple to make holiday entertaining a success. Do you want to be a simple gal, too? Let me show you how with these tips.
The Simple Gal is NOT a perfectionist.
The attitude of the hostess will set the tone of the entire dinner party. Letting go of perfectionism ahead of time and accepting that every single thing doesn’t have to and will not be perfect will reduce your stress. Remember that when you stress about every little detail and complain out loud when things go wrong you make your guests feel more like an inconvenience and not a VIP guest Instead make every effort to relax, go with the flow and enjoy the time you have with your guests.
The Simple Gal prepares for the dinner in advance.
The best way to prevent disasters and keep your cool as hostess is to prepare for the meal well in advance. Print out recipes and do all prep work you can ahead of time. Order any dishes you don’t want to cook from a local restaurant or caterer. Slicing veggies, preparing side dishes and baking breads and desserts the day before will allow you to focus on the main dish on dinner night. You can also set the dinner table the night or morning before to reduce your workload and give you more quality time with your guests.
The Simple Gal keeps holiday table décor simple.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? While I love beautiful tablescapes, why complicate things when a simple table décor display will do? I keep it simple with a tablecloth, place settings and small centerpiece. For my holiday table this year I created an easy centerpiece with a couple of pine limbs and a battery operated candle. Not only do I not have to worry about little hands getting too close to candle flames, but it only took me one minute to lay the decorations on the table and I was done. Instead spend time on what more than likely matters most to your guests…cooking the meal! The Simple Gal chooses her menu wisely.
While I do like to ask my guests about food allergies to avoid any mishaps, I like to choose a simple menu with classics most guests will enjoy. I don’t do a lot of fancy appetizers and sides because I want a menu that appeals to all and not just a select few. Maybe I’m super thoughtful or maybe it’s because I’m a picky eater and have spent way too many meals picking through my plate. A couple of easy appetizers, freshly baked bread, a few tasty side dishes, main course and a few dessert choices are usually on my menu. You really can’t go wrong with ham, potatoes and sweet potato pie if you ask me!
For beverages I like to provide a few choices for my guests. Water, tea and a nice bottle of wine are good choices to have on hand for guests. When you’re searching for wine, Santa Margherita Wines are a great choice for your holiday entertaining needs. The Chianti Classic is a full-body premium wine that pairs perfectly with classic holiday dishes. It’s the perfect wine to enjoy at your dinner party, a restaurant, or even give as a gift this holiday season. What I admire most is that Santa Margherita Wines is a company committed to preserving the environment and making every effort to uphold the highest operation standards in their wineries. You can visit Santa Margherita Wines to learn more yourself.
The Simple Gal calls in the troops when needed.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. If you don’t have time for cooking a large meal, ask guests to bring the sides and desserts while you provide the main dish. Or make a list of what must be done and divide the tasks among your family members. Swallow your pride and do what you need to do to make holiday entertaining a less daunting task when you have a busy schedule.
Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice the opportunity to spend time with those you love because you think you can’t handle it. Use these tips from The Simple Gal’s Guide to Holiday Entertaining to make your holiday dinner doable and enjoyable for both you and your guests.