This Tip Tuesday Episode of The Intentional Edit Podcast is full of good ideas and tips to help you plan and prepare for hosting holiday parties and gatherings with your family and friends. Learn what you can do ahead of time and time saving techniques to enjoy so you can be ready for your guests to arrive and enjoy the festivities.
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Full Episode Transcription:
It’s tip Tuesday, episode 18 of the intentional edit podcast. Today, I’m answering a listener question about planning and preparing for a holiday gathering. The first holiday gathering at her house with 14 of her husband’s family members. I’m sharing it is to help her plan and prepare so that she can to enjoy this event and stress less. If you’re hosting a holiday celebration in the coming weeks, hopefully these ideas will help you to, Hey friends, quick tips that make a big impact in your daily life are my favorite ways to implement systems around the house. I’ve been sharing easy strategies and my go-to organizing products for tip Tuesday on the intentionality Instagram feed for a few years. Now I’m excited to bring it to the podcast with short episodes, answering your questions every Tuesday. If you want me to answer your questions, go to the podcast page on unintentional, edit.com and submit your questions there.
Let’s get started on this tip Tuesday episode of the intentional edit podcast. Thanks for joining me for episode 18. I’m answering another listener question today. Be sure to send me your questions to me by pressing the record. Now button that pops up. If you go to intentional edit.com or you can always send them through Instagram messages. Here is the question that came in that I will be answering today. It says hello to edit. I’m hosting a Christmas gathering two days after Christmas for my husband’s family of 14 people. Plus our family of three for the first time we moved home earlier this year, and this is the first time we will have the entire family in our home. And altogether, can you help with planning or have any idea so that it goes smoothly. I’m not a party planner or a good cook and don’t know where to begin, but I want it to be nice and have time to enjoy everyone in our home.
Thank you, CME CME. Thank you so much for submitting this question. I am glad I found it before the holidays, and I’m able to answer it before this party happens for you. This is the last tip Tuesday episode that I’m recording for 2021. I’m actually going to take a two week break from the podcast to squeeze in a little extra time with my family over the holiday break. First thing that sticks out to me about this question is that you have your priorities in the right place, because you mentioned that you’re looking forward to enjoying everyone in your home and the company of your husband’s family. So you are putting your priorities on that. And that’s the whole point of having a holiday gathering or having people over. When we think about these events and celebrations, the point is to come together and spend time with each other.
So let’s start there. You are mentioning that you aren’t a great cook. I bet you’re not giving yourself enough credit and don’t have much experience with the party planning. That’s okay. You can still host a great gathering without being a great cook or a professional party planner. I enjoy planning a theme party and I’m definitely not a great cook, but I can pull off enough recipes to get by. Where should we start? I have some tips that will walk you through a gathering of this size so that you can pull off the first Christmas celebration with your in-laws and feel like you got to spend quality time with them during these festivities. The first things we’ll do is come up with a game plan for the event. I want you to grab a pen and paper because you are about to make a list. Think about the overall event is at meal time, or will you just need hors d’oeuvres and appetizers?
Do you want to have games or any entertainment? Will there be a gift exchange happening? What about dessert drinks, things like that. Once you have determined the kind of food you need and what is happening at the party, you can move on from there. Will you be making all the food on your own or do you want others to help figure out how much food you need and what of each item? An example of that would be, if you’re doing a sit down dinner, it might include appetizers and drinks for before beforehand, when people are arriving and just hanging out, then once the meal starts, you would need a main dish or maybe two, probably three sides, one salad, and one or two desserts. If you want each family member that’s attending to bring something, then give them plenty of notice. Don’t just bring this on them.
Last minute, you can do this by sending a text or email to the group. A text is probably the best option, and then everyone can easily check their phones and know what’s going on and be in the loop. All you have to do is list what you need, and then everyone can respond with what they want to bring. Be specific. Like I need two appetizers, one salad, and a dessert for Monday night. Please let me know what you can bring. Something like that would, you can make a grocery list for all the remaining dishes that you will be making yourself. I like to figure out what I’m making and then print out the recipes. If you don’t have favorite recipes or things that your family has made, things that you like to repeat each year during the different seasons, do a search on Pinterest for some easy recipes that fit with either a buffet style or sit down style, whatever is that you determined, you were planning, don’t forget drinks.
And don’t forget like paper goods, plates, forks, napkins, cups, things like that. Once you figure out the recipes that you want to make, then make your grocery list off of that, add in the thing is like the plates and the napkins and anything extra that you might need to be able to serve the dinner. If you think you’ll be having games or a gift exchange, and you still needed to plan for those, or if you still needed to purchase gifts that you will be giving out that night, you could add these things to the list because they still needed to be done. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed the day of the party. Be sure you’re doing as much ahead of time as you possibly can. Cleaning and decorating definitely should be done the day before. If not a few days before, before the party starts, you can freshen things up and clean some last minute.
They, but the bulk of the cleaning should be done ahead of time. And all of the decorating should happen at least a day before. If not more than that, cook anything that you can the day before and prepare whatever you can ahead of time. If you need to slice things up or anything, symbol it, all those simple things add up and take time. So whatever you can do ahead of time will ease your stress. The day of the event, figure out what plates and what platters we’ll be using, what serving bowls to serve the food in and arrange those on a table or island or buffet, wherever you will be serving the food from figure out where it will go. You can use like a little sticky note and just write on there. What food will go into that bowl or on that platter and put the sticky note there so that when it’s time to put the items into the serving dishes, you know what goes, where if you’re serving hot dishes, leave a place for those two, you can put a trivet or something in the place where that dish will go get it out of the oven and put it right there.
But then, you know, you have plenty of room for everything that is coming and that needs to be served for the meal. If you’re playing a game, have everything you need for that game in one location. So it’s ready to go. That’s something else you can do the day before, or a couple of days before. If you’re opening presents have a trash bagger to near wherever this will be taking place. So it’s ready when people start opening gifts and you can put the trash in that. If you want to have music playing, create a playlist that can be done days or even weeks ahead of time. If you have a wireless speaker, put it on your to-do list to charge it the day before. So you make sure it’s charged up and ready to go. Do you have gift drops, gift wrap. If you have to wrap gifts, then make sure that you have gift wrap and tape ready and ribbons or whatever you want to put on that ready so that everything you need to wrap the gifts you have, and you don’t have to run out last minute to get those things and wrap those gifts early, have that as a task that is finished, that can be done weeks ahead of time if you need to, but make sure you at least have it done a couple of days early.
So it’s not something you have to do the day of walk through the event in your mind when you’re planning it and think about anything that you can do a day or two early to prepare that will be helpful for you on the day up, only leave the items that must be done on the day of the event for that day. Anything that can be done early should be done early. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready before your guests arrive. And don’t be surprised if some of them arrive a few minutes early because they might end. You want to be ready and not running around, getting dressed and putting your makeup on and your jewelry or whatever you are doing to feel ready for them to come, try to give yourself about 30 minutes at least so that you’re ready before the earliest possible guests could arrive.
And that you can take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy this lovely night that you’ve created just before the arrival time, turn on lights in your home and make your home feel inviting check to make sure that you have fresh towels in the bathroom. And the toilet paper is fully stocked and that there’s backup in there. The soap dispensers are full of soap, light a candle, or some candles throughout the house, or have some essential oils going. So that again, you’re creating that inviting, welcoming feeling, planning ahead makes all the difference and it makes it possible so that you can enjoy this event with a family and be present for the memories of this year celebrations, best of luck with, with a great party. And thanks for submitting your question for me to answer for this tip Tuesday episode,
That wraps up another quick episode of a tip Tuesday. If you want to be featured on intentional edits, tip Tuesday, go to intentional, edit.com, click on the podcast page in the menu bar, and then scroll all the way down to the bottom. You will find a button that says record, tap on that and record your question or share what is currently overwhelming to you. What is going on that you need help with? I want to know I needed to know your struggle so I can share actionable solutions to help you create simplicity in your home. If you’re having this issue. I know other people are having it too, and we want to help as many people as possible. Head over to the podcast page of intentional, edit.com and record your question for me there.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
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