‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, even if your annual holiday party looks a little different this year. But whether you’re hosting a socially-distanced outdoor gathering, putting up a few out-of-towners for the weekend, or your family’s coming home for the holidays, there’s still a lot that goes into planning a festive soirée.
Creating meaningful memories doesn’t have to drain your energy. Here are Chef Lynn Michelle’s secrets to hosting a stress-free holiday party.
Before the Party
- Consider your guest list. Before you decide what food you’re going to serve or plan the tablescape, you should have an idea of who (and how many) will be coming. If you’re only hosting your family, consider a casual dinner and game night, but if your close friends are coming over, you may want to offer fancy drinks and light bites.
- Pick a theme. Make your party stand out from the rest by choosing a fun theme for the evening! There’s always an ugly Christmas sweater party, but what about turning the tables on the chilly weather and hosting a beach-themed bash, complete with mojitos, pineapples, and flamingos in Santa hats? You could also keep it simple by choosing a color palette to base your decor around, like black and silver or green and gold.
- Hire a personal chef. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests by inviting Chef Lynn Michelle to cook for your gathering. She’ll handle every aspect of the cooking process from shopping to clean up and will serve your guests a meal they’ll be talking about through 2021.
- Make sure you have something for everyone. You don’t want to be making a last-minute trip to the grocery store because you forgot your niece is vegan. Find out if your guests have any dietary preferences then make sure you have something to meet their needs, like a few gluten-free crackers on the charcuterie board or vegetarian side dishes. Chef Lynn Michelle can make diet-friendly dishes that look and taste just as amazing as the rest of the spread so none of your guests feel like an afterthought.
The Day Of
- Make a list. Perhaps the ultimate way to host a stress-free holiday party is to live by a list. Make a to-do list the day of the party to keep track of your timeline for the day, including when your guests will arrive and when dinner will be ready to serve. This will help you know where you need to be and when, but don’t be afraid to delegate. Asking family or close friends to help you might make them feel more involved.
- Deck the halls. Your house doesn’t need to be encrusted in twinkling lights to make an impact, but a few strategically-placed decorations will help set the scene. Fill a glass bowl full of vintage ornaments for a centerpiece, or add greenery to your door or mantel. Don’t forget to create a Christmas playlist for ambiance!
- Designate a dessert table. Let’s face it – the holidays just aren’t the same without sweets. But passing around trays of cookies, cakes, and pastries can be a hassle for you and your guests. Designate a dessert table that your guests can come back to at will. Chef Lynn Michelle can put together a festive spread of holiday treats that will be the focal point of the party.
- End on a high note. You don’t want to fill a series of awkward pauses as the party dies down. As the hostess, it’s your job to politely dismiss your guests at the end of the evening. Set a time limit for your party and try to end on a high note. That way, no one will feel awkward excusing themselves if the party runs a little late.
Once the guest list is planned and the theme is finalized, all that’s left to think about is the food. Chef Lynn Michelle prides herself on working closely with clients to plan the perfect event menus. Spend more time with your friends while she prepares restaurant-quality dishes in your kitchen. Remind your guests to come hungry!