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Hosting a Dinner Party Made Easy

Dinner Party Host Checklist

Do you host family and friends over for dinner during the holidays or for special celebrations?  Or is the thought so daunting that you don't even attempt it?

We host family and friends for meals a lot.  Family time is very important and hopefully these tips will encourage you to go ahead and host some dinner parties.  These moments are treasured times with the people we love; sharing a meal together is very special.  

Before you even begin do you have a stocked Baking Pantry or a Cooking Pantry ready to go?  Having a well stocked kitchen is very helpful when you entertain! 

Here are a few simple things to get you started:

  1. Invite Your Guests - Decide who to invite. Call them, email or send out an online invitation.  Make sure you have enough room for everyone to sit comfortably at your dining room table.  This may require an extender to your table or adding portable table to your existing one.  You can also rent extra chairs from a local rental company.
  2. Menu - Take time to decide what you're going to serve. Think about easy and delicious recipes your family enjoys. If it has passed your families taste test, then you can guarantee that it will be yummy to your guests.  Remember allergy options and gluten free items.  Check in with your guests before the meal and ask them if they have an aversions to any specific foods and go from there. Many people ask what they can bring to dinners like this.  Have them supply the dessert.
  3. Buffet or Family Style - Decide how you want to serve the food.  Lately, the buffet style has been really popular for a less formal feel with kids and a sit down family style meal has a more formal feel to it, but offers valuable skill for your kids to learn.
  4. Decorate - Take the season as a springboard for ideas.  I love fresh flowers and greens and candles (away from small children, please), and have your home clean and presentable.

When your Guests Arrive 

  • Greet Your Guests - If you are inviting your guests, be sure to be at the door with a warm  greeting. It's a really great way to connect and teach your children this valuable social engagement. Immediately offer a drink of warm cider or glass of wine or punch.  Guide them to where you would like them to sit.  
  • Appetizers Ready To Go - How about cheese and crackers, vegetables and dip and my favorite, shrimp cocktail.  Keep the carbs down, you don't want everyone to fill up before your delicious dinner.  
  • Assign Seating - Have you children make little name cards and place at each table setting.  Kids love getting involved in this type of preparation. 
  • Host Tip - As the host, sit closest to the kitchen - it's inevitable that you will need to get up and down for the quick dashes for forgotten items.
  • Fun Things to Do - We love the Gratitude Jar during family dinner parties.

Cleanup Blues?

So you've invited, hosted, prepared and now it's time to cleanup.  We have an easy cleanup checklist for you to make the process easy.

Don't forget to have fun at your dinner party. Enjoy the memory maker you've just created for your friends and family.  Priceless!

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