3 tips to ensure a perfect holiday meal or gathering every time!
*Make sure you know how many are coming! RSVP's don't have to be complicated. Figure out who you want to invite, and then confirm. It does not have to be formal. Call them, e-mail them, whatever, but get a confirmation. It may not seem important, but I have been to many a get-together where there wasn't enough food or drink for the invited guests.
*Plan your menu. In my family, people always offer to help. Don't be afraid to allow them to. Ask people what they want to bring and include it in the menu. My sister likes to bake. I don't. So I let her bring the desserts, and she is glad to do it. It makes for a wonderful variety of items and saves the host time and money. I went a step further and after confirming and compiling a list of things that people wanted to bring, I sent the entire menu out in an e-mail to everyone that confirmed. The menu included the list of all items and who would bringing/preparing each thing. Once everyone knows what to expect, they can start gathering their ingredients as well as add to the list or make suggestions, if there is something missing.
*Set a start/end time and stick to it! If its supposed to start at 4pm, start it at 4pm. This means that your guest need to be arriving at least a half hour beforehand. Don't be scared to insist on this. That whole "CP time" thing is a bunch of BS!! (If you don't know what "CP Time" is, Google it.) I expect people to be punctual. Habitual Lateness is, in my opinion, disrespectful and rude. Hosting is not easy. As much as you may adore your family and friends, even they need a cut off point. Don't wear yourself out. Set the guidelines for your own sanity.