Is it your turn to host the family’s annual Christmas Eve gala? Or are you planning a romantic New Year’s dinner to get a small number of friends? Whatever the occasion, a month of lead time gives you plenty of leeway. You will have ample time to…
Jeffrey Dungan Architects
Produce a program. This way out you’ve got the luxury of debating over every detail. Work backward from the day of the party or the big holiday meal, and set up a checklist which includes every activity that needs to be completed, right down to lighting the fire and turning on the music.
Tackle touch-ups round the home. Scan your environment for scuffed paint, broken porch lighting, fraying rugs along with other signs of wear and tear. Either fix them yourself or call in professional help. Do not get too ambitious (this isn’t the opportunity to remodel the powder room), but also hosting a get-together gives you a great reason to attack the tiny jobs that appear to pile up.
Select a theme and gather decorations to match. Whether it is a Thanksgiving family feast, a Hanukkah celebration or a Christmas cocktail celebration, a theme can present your gathering extra energy and help guests get into the spirit. Keep an eye out for appropriate decorations and purchase any specialty items you can not find around town.
Publish and email invitations. If you are going to be sending newspaper invitations, now is the time to start on them. Purchase printable variations out of a local stationer, pick up a fill-in-the-blank design or purchase custom invitations from an online retailer such as Tiny Prints, Paperstyle or Etsy. Whichever course you choose, email both to three weeks before the party so guests have enough time to plan and respond.
Charmean Neithart Interiors
Experiment with menu items or hire a caterer. When you plan to take charge of the cooking, then put out the menu, then perform a test run for almost any dishes you have never tried or are not convinced making, such as a finicky soufflé or an unknown cut of meat. If you’d rather delegate food preparation to a caterer, get on the phone or net once you can — most of them book up fast during holiday season. Striking out? Ask a regional culinary school if any of the more advanced students may be right for the job.
Choose a signature cocktail or 2. Read recipe books and food websites for intriguing cocktails which go well with the event. Try out some, then choose the ones you like best and purchase any special ingredients or barware you are going to need. You will also have enough time to produce flavored simple syrups, fun garnishes along with other merry fixings.
Rent or purchase extra chairs and tables if needed. Expecting a bunch? Organize for extra furniture out of a party rental business, such as bamboo caterer’s seats and tables in the right sizes. Most companies can also provide accessories, linens, flatware and other requirements.
Should you entertain frequently, it may be worth purchasing a supply of folding or stackable chairs and tables which you can pull out at a minute’s notice.
Clean at your own leisure. As well as a daily or weekly routine, you are able to take care of odd tasks several at a time, such as cleaning the oven, scrubbing tile grout or cracked ceiling fans.