Today we'll cover having guests into your home without getting overwhelmed by all the details. I'll share some shortcuts as suggested by Karen Burton Mains in her book, Open Heart Open Home.
Karen says, and I agree, Use all the help that comes your way. Don't be too proud to accept or ask for help with holiday preparations for a holiday event. If someone asks, "Is there anything I can do for you?" gratefully respond, "Yes!" In fact, there's something very satisfying about sharing work with a friend or relative. You'll benefit in many ways from working with someone else's gifts and ideas.
Teach your family to lend assistance. Your spouse may be in charge of seeing that the children are dressed and ready and that the last minute toy clutter is picked up. Once child can be in charge of ice and water for drinks; another can be in charge of arranging and serving appetizers. Teach them it's fun as well as helpful to pitch in that last hour before guests arrive.
If you haven't had time to toss the salad, ask a guest who arrives early to lend a hand. If someone offers to bring rolls or dessert, accept it graciously. When you have a sit-down dinner, you might even ask people to bring on course for the meal. You can ask one family to bring appetizers, another salad, and another dessert. That saves you the time of planning and making those dishes, and you only have to think about the main dish and accompanying vegetables.
Karen shares a time when 40 people were invited over for an evening get together. She asked every guest to bring a plate of goodies. The guests all shared a marvelous variety of home-bake delicacies and all she had to do was provide the coffee, tea, and punch. It was no work at all to entertain a houseful of happy guests!
Having Holiday Company can be as enjoyable for you as for your guests if you take time to share the work.
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.