8 Tips to Help You Prepare for Hosting Easter
Make Easter a Stress-Free Affair With These 8 Hosting Tips
In many households around the world, there are two big dinners per year: Christmas and Easter. For just about everyone on that list, a big Easter meal is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. But hosting is a nuanced art form — you want to be sure that the dinner flows naturally and is enjoyable for all the guests. If this is the first Easter dinner that you have hosted for your family, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed.
From the guest list to the menu, from the Easter linens to activities for the kids, Easter dinner requires a lot of legwork. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do ahead of time to prepare for the big day. These tips will help you to feel ready for the big dinner so that you can enjoy the beautiful meal with your loved ones.
1) Make a Timeline
Before the dinner begins to approach, sit down and create a comprehensive timeline. One of the most fool-proof tactics for avoiding dinner party-related stress is to start ahead of time.
Begin with the actual dinner and work backward to help you get an idea of how much time you will need to give yourself in order to comfortably get everything done. This will also help you decide which tasks need to be done ahead of time, and how much time you may need for each task.
Real Simple recommends inviting guests no less than three weeks ahead of time. You can also divvy up your grocery shopping so that you don’t need to buy it all in one haul.
2) Keep the Guest List Manageable
When making a guest list for your Easter dinner, don’t let your eyes get bigger than your table. While it may seem fun to invite all of your aunts, uncles, second cousins, and friends, it’s no fun for guests to be standing around with nowhere to sit.
Tasting Table suggests thinking about how many people your table can seat, and then inviting one or two more guests. If this doesn’t feel complete, designate a card table or coffee table as the “kids table” to clear up a couple of extra seats at the big table.
3) Take Inventory of Necessities You Need to Borrow or Purchase
Once you have your guest list set, you can take an inventory of silverware, linens, and chairs. In general, mixing and matching flatware and dishes is a trendy move, so don’t be afraid if you don’t have enough of one set of dishes.
Make sure that you have enough serving dishes and utensils, especially if you plan on doing a buffet-style dinner.
4) Make Sure Your Menu Accommodates Dietary Restrictions
When designing an Easter dinner menu, it can feel tempting to go for the ham or lamb and nothing else. But remember that some of your guests may be vegan or vegetarian, so you may want to consider including a protein that accommodates those eating styles, too.
A savory galette or quiche is a great way to accommodate vegetarians. To please the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free crowds all in one fell swoop, The Spruce recommends a yummy blended soup, like a bright and zingy ginger carrot soup.
via The Spruce
5) Iron Your Linens in Advance
Linen napkins will automatically elevate the mood of a dinner party. Save the paper napkins for the kids table, and incorporate linen napkins into your main table decoration. You can also add a touch of design to the table by coordinating your napkins with your dishes.
If you want to use white linens for napkins and the tablecloth, plan on getting them dry cleaned before and after the dinner. This will ensure that the linens enter and exit your dinner party unscathed.
6) Set the Table the Day Before
Setting the table ahead of time will reduce stress levels on the day of the dinner. In addition, getting the table set ahead of time will give you time to rearrange it or change it up a bit after you’ve had time to mull things over.
Setting the table ahead of time will also ensure that you have enough dishes, glasses, and flatware for all of your guests. Designate your seating assignments if you are inviting a lot of extended family to encourage mingling.
7) Streamline the Decor
Use your table centerpiece as the focal point of your decoration, and keep everything else relatively simple. Southern Living recommends choosing a color palette in order to avoid feeling cluttered. Choose a pastel or a light hue to really hone in on those spring-time vibes.
Have the kids help you decorate hard boiled eggs the day before, and incorporate these into your centerpiece to give your party a homey feel.
8) Send the Kids Outside
No matter how much planning you do ahead of time, you may still feel the scramble to get everything done before Easter dinner. Have the parent who isn’t cooking or the teenagers in the family plan an Easter egg hunt for the little kids to get them out of the kitchen as dinner approaches.
Sending the guests outside for an Easter egg hunt will also give the host a little time to tidy up or change before dinner. Use this time as the calm-before-the-storm to take a few deep breaths and hydrate.
Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy Your Meal
When all is said and done, Easter is a time for enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family. Don’t stress over the small things, and be sure to enjoy this time for what it is. Planning ahead of time will help you be able to relax and enjoy the art of hosting.