Friday, November 16, 2012

4 Helpful tips for Hostessing

Today I'm coming to you with a few tips to make your holidays less stressful and more joyful.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have about 5 to-do lists going right now. Thankfully, I marked off several items from the list this morning, so I'm feeling pretty good right now. Since Jamie and I have been married, we have hosted countless parties and get-togethers. I could tell some stories about "the good, the bad, and the ugly" pertaining to the parties we've hosted. I have not always been the planner that I am now, and I've definitely stressed myself out far too many times to count. I used to leave everything to be done on the actual day of the party: House cleaning, food prep, baking, cooking, etc.  Now that I have 2 kids, there's no way I can get by with that kind of procrastination. So, below are a few ideas and tips for planning ahead in order to make your life just a little bit easier.

Tip #1: I've learned to plan my menu in advance, making sure that it consists of several make-ahead items that can either be frozen until the day of the party/dinner, or refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Next week we will have 13 people under our roof for Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving menu is planned, but here's the kicker....they are going to want to eat on all the other days they're here, too! What??? So, I've been prepping and planning. I have 2 lasagnas already prepared and waiting in my freezer. I'm planning to cook a dutch oven full of chili this weekend to freeze, and I have lots of sandwich fixins in my refrigerator. I have several other meals planned that will need to be cooked the day we will eat them, but it's nice to know that I can pull out the lasagnas and chili when I'm not feeling like cooking a full meal. This past week we had vegetable soup and cornbread for dinner one night. Trying to think ahead, I made a double batch of cornbread so that I could freeze half to use in my Thanksgiving dressing next week. This weekend I'm going to go ahead and make a pecan pie to freeze. Use your freezer, people! If you don't have a second freezer, I would highly recommend purchasing one. I bought mine several years ago at a garage sale for less than $100, and it is seriously one of the best purchases I've ever made.

Tip #2: Clean your house the day BEFORE company is coming or the day BEFORE you're hosting a party. If you wake up on "game day" and your house is already clean, you will be in a much better state of mind to work on the food prep and actually ENJOY hosting people in your home. If you haven't prepared in advance, and you are running around trying to clean and cook, you will be a nutcase by the time your company arrives. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Tip #3: This may sound silly, but allow time for yourself. Plan your party outfit in advance. Allow time to enjoy getting yourself ready for your party. After-all, you are the one who opted to host a party or company in your home, you should enjoy it the MOST!

Tip #4: Relax and Have fun! Like I said in my earlier post, the holiday season is not all about making yourself look like the perfect Martha Stewart. The holiday season IS about generosity towards others, making memories with your family and friends, and enjoying each tradition, whether old or new.

My wish for each of our readers is this: May you be overwhelmed with Joy and Gratitude as you celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday next week. No matter what your situation may be, I pray that your blessings be innumerable and your heart always humble.


  1. Thank you, Sarah! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks for this post, Jennifer. I needed it!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Emma. You are a great hostess.

  3. Sure wish I had seen this sooner. Bunco is tomorrow night and I'm already freaking out!

    1. Jamie, you have nothing to worry about! You always show us a great time.