Things were running relatively smoothly: the food would be ready on time, the house was “clean”, I was dressed and ready for guests.
But no sooner than our first guests arrive than I’m grabbing for the closest napkin to dab my face and, I kid you not, dry the sweat from my hair. I’m not talking about a few drops of sweat on the back of my neck, but rather ringlets of dripping wet hair. I had to wrap the paper towel around my hair and wring it dry as if I had just stepped out of the shower.
Thankfully, the guests were family. Thankfully, my mother-in-law was all too familiar with the “party stress sweats.” Thankfully, we popped open a bottle of wine.
I love entertaining. I love parties. So, I look forward to any opportunity to host a party. It seems though, that no matter how hard I try to be prepared, I still fret…and sweat.
But, I have learned a few tips along the way that definitely help calm my nerves and help me to enjoy the party.
~Make sure you have enough clean dinnerware (silverware, plates, glasses, cups) for each guest. Who wants to eat off the plate that you just pulled out of the sink and washed in front of them?
~Set the table the night before to save time and stress on party day. Doing this one little thing really takes a load off of my mind. I consider it a “must.”
~Have drinks and appetizers or snacks ready at arrival time. You can even prepare them the night before if the recipe allows. I love pulling hot appetizers or cold dips out just in time for guests, who typically arrive hungry. Nibbling on snacks is a great way to break the ice and get conversation rolling.
~Have a designated area for coats, purses and other guest belongings. I’m not going to lie. If I’ve spent time cleaning and decorating and getting everything just so, I don’t want to see someone’s purse sitting on the floor of the living room or worse yet, in the window sill of my entry waiting to greet the other guests. So, as friends and family enter, offer to take their coats and tell them where to place their belongings. That coat rack isn’t just for show.
~Set up drink stations, food buffet, etc. and let guests serve themselves so that you can relax and mingle. Once the food is ready, I set it up buffet style, we grab our plates off of the table and get in line. Something about a buffet is so comforting and familiar to me, and I think it sets everyone else at ease, too.
Once the party was underway, my nerves were calm, I was no longer a sweaty mess, and I had a really good time.
So, what are your plans New Years Eve? Are you hosting? Attending a party? I’ll have the night off from hosting since we’re going to a friend’s house tonight.
Happy New Year!
See you in class,