We’ve all had our college potlucks and Friendsgiving but now it’s time to join the big leagues – Hosting your first major family holiday. I started out with a test-run holiday (Chinese New Year) to work out the kinks and, oh boy, am I glad I did! Now, Easter lunch is at our place this year and I’m ready to rubble.
Check out a few things I learned along the way to get ready for Round 2:
It is all in the planning.
Lists, lists, lists – They make the world go round. Just with anything a good list can help you get organized and help with the planning for holidays. For Chinese New Year, I spent days planning the menu and finding the perfect recipes as well as setting up a schedule of when to prep and cook different things – I wish someone would have told me hosting required this. This time around we’re going a little looser on the scheduling since more people are cooking and bringing more things but I definitely have to say it was the only way I made it through the first holiday!
A little decor goes a long way.
We’ve all seen those homes that are completely decked out for holidays but how practical are they really? I figured out doing a small amount of decor that really hit the message home was better not only for the guests but also made it easier when actually cooking the meal and serving appetizers. I loved having all the free space to work!
Cook and prep days in advance.
Do as much beforehand as possible! I hated feeling like I could never take a break and enjoy the experience with my guests. This go around I’m planning to cook and prep as much beforehand as possible. That way the kitchen is freed-up for everyone else and I can enjoy a glass of wine.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Things are not going to go as planned, and you’re probably not going to serve exactly on time. Be prepared mentally for this to happen. On CNY I got so caught up in everything being perfect that I was close to a melt down and totally exhausted afterwards. Don’t let this happen to you!
So what if something got burnt a little? Oh no – you didn’t serve exactly at 5! The world will not end. You and your guests will make it through it just fine.
Let people help!
Biggest mistake I made the first time was trying to do everything myself. People offered to help but I was too focused on getting through my list and trying to prove I could do it that I ended up feeling miserable. Not this time! Instead of taking on the full responsibility, I divided up the food among the guests to cook and bring to lighten the load on my shoulders and they were more than happy to help out.