Even the most introverted person occasionally wants company, but having people over is its own special kind of stress. What do you do? How do you set things up? Do you even have all you need to do this? How long will it last? What if unexpected people show up? These and countless other question tend to dominate any would-be host or hostess the moment they start thinking about planning a get-together. OROGOLD fully acknowledges that these are all very valid questions to ask. You have to consider a number of things before actually putting a plan into motion, but they shouldn’t prevent you from trying in the first place. To help cut the stress out of getting people together for a special occasion or “just because”, here are a few tips to ease the pains of entertaining at home.
Issue Your Invites
You can take a lot of the stress out of numbers simply by personally issuing invitations instead of simply saying you’re having a gathering and telling people to pass it along. This can work well in smaller social groups, but the larger they get the more likely it is to spiral out of control. Consider your social circle when issuing invitations though. Are they the sort that would like a thematic invitation card or are they the kind who just want a friendly chat and a verbal invitation? Plan for a few extra people regardless of the method you choose for inviting people to your gathering. There will likely always be one or two unexpected guests at a gathering in all but the smallest of social groups. You’ll probably already know them and they’ll simply be coming along with a friend who didn’t know if they could bring a mutual friend or not.
Part of the stress about numbers is due to the need to know that you have enough food to entertain properly. OROGOLD suggests preparing a meal that you can slow-cook the day of the gathering or that you can cook ahead of time and simply warm again when it is the appropriate time. A sufficiently large meal like this means you can devote more time to your guests without feeling rude and that you’re ready for the unexpected. You can even do the same with any desserts you have prepared that have predetermined portions. Keep them arranged and ready for bringing out after the meal for anyone who wants them. It reduces the hassle and, once again, keeps you active and engaged with your guests rather than away from them. Everyone is there to appreciate each other’s company after all.
The time of year often governs why a gathering is happening due to the popularity of holiday parties. You can use this to your advantage. A few clever accents here and there can transform a space into something perfect for a seasonal party. By contrast, you can opt for a more timeless approach with floral arrangements or candles offering the main aesthetic. An important point to make is that you shouldn’t forget that serving pieces for appetizers can be just as much a part of the decoration as aesthetic only pieces. A well-prepared plate of appetizers make an excellent centerpiece for the casual center of a gathering and make the space instantly inviting. It also gives people something to snack on while they pass the time until the main meal.
Entertaining doesn’t have to be a nightmare of planning that makes you constantly doubt your own capabilities. You’ll likely find it one of the most rewarding things you’ve done when it all comes together. Just remember that everyone has felt that stress before and that you can get past it. Try remembering these few tips from OROGOLD and you may even manage to stop feeling stressed before the doorbell first rings. There are no promises on whether it will help deal with that last minute panic when you have to open the door for your first guests though.