The festive season is all about getting together with friends and family. Yet planning a tasty menu and entertaining evening can be daunting, especially if several guests are attending.
From decoration ideas like Chinese lanterns to organizing a great menu, the following guide will give you some helpful tips for making a dinner party that everyone will enjoy.
The Initial Decisions
You will firstly have to set a definite date and decide on exactly who you’ll be inviting. The comfort of your guests is your main goal, so give some thought to their tastes and ages. It’s a good idea to invite people early enough to RSVP so you can be sure how many will be attending. This is especially important during the Christmas season as everyone at this time of year needs to juggle more social commitments than normal.
Calling is generally the easiest way to invite people, and this way you’ll often be able to get an immediate response. Another benefit of calling is that you can ask if your guests have any food allergies or preferences.
Ambiance and Decorations
The right atmosphere will make guests feel at ease as soon as they step through the door. In addition to the traditional Christmas decorations, warm lighting can set the right mood. Chinese lanterns are excellent for creating soft, festive lighting and they’re highly affordable too. Besides, bouquets and a table center-piece are always lovely additions to add some definite style.
The Food Menu
It’s wise to make a realistic assessment of your cooking and baking skills, as well as the time you’ll be able to dedicate. Unless you’re highly skilled in the culinary arts, there’s no point in trying out a high-end main course for the first time whose name you can’t even pronounce, as its potential failure will only make you nervous and many less adventurous people might not even like it. Rather go for a broad range of well-known dishes that most everyone enjoys. Offer both vegetarian and meat assortments so that you can be sure there will be a variety of tasty treats for everyone. If there are going to be young children present, you might also want to consider doing a separate menu of simple favorites for them to dig into without any fuss.
As a rule of thumb, stock up on lots of hand nibbles for the beginning of the evening when everyone is arriving and circulating. If it’s a sit-down dinner rather than a buffet affair, you’ll want to have starters, a main course, and dessert. A cheese board is also always a popular offering.
If you’re overly busy this festive season, you can always make things easy for yourself by opting for ready-made treats, deli dishes, and even takeout. Especially over Christmas, grocery retailers offer a wealth of quality party food that is also affordable.
Never underestimate the usefulness of comprehensive list-making! The sure way to guarantee that you won’t forget anything important is to make thorough lists of everything you’ll need to arrange and buy. Once you have it all thought out in the black and white, you’ll also free your mind to be creative with the food, fun, and decor.
First plan your food and drinks menu, then make a list of all the ingredients you will need to buy. Make a separate list of any other party sundries that will be needed, such as scented candles, Chinese lanterns, party games, etc.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to take an inventory of your supplies, such as adequate tables, chairs, cutlery, and plates as well as serving areas and kitchen necessities. That way, if you don’t have enough supplies on hand, you can arrange to borrow these items from friends or family rather than being caught short.
The perfect dinner party is one where your guests have a lovely, lively and relaxing time. To ensure this and to be the best host, you’ll want to have everything perfectly in order so that when your visitors arrive you can relax and circulate.