Entertaining and Party Tips

Practice hospitality to one another - that is,
those of the household of faith. And do it
ungrudgingly - cordially and graciously
without complaining - but as representing Him.
1 Peter 4:9

Countdown to a perfect party:

- Set up a plan and space out preparations so you'll be relaxed, rested and ready.
- As soon as you have set the date and the guest list, make a list of all the supplies you'll need.
- One week before: Shop for beverages, making sure you have a variety for all your guests. Decide what linens and dishes you'll need and be sure they're in order.
- Two days before: Get the whole family to help with housecleaning. Decide what to do with guests coats and boots. Shop for perishables; wash, trim and store fresh vegetables and fruit in plastic bags, refrigerated.
- One day before: Prepare all make-ahead foods, wrap them well and refrigerate.
- Day of the party: Give the house a once over; arrange flowers and candles. Pick up extra ice. Set the table or buffet, assemble ingredients and cook the rest of the menu, and prepare yourself to have a wonderful time.

More Tips:

- A make ahead menu provides a hassle-free party. Plan one or two hot appetizers that you can make ahead and heat at the last minute. For the rest of the menu, choose foods you can prepare ahead of time, and serve without last-minute attention.

- When planning an appetizer party, imagine how foods will look and taste together. Balance rich, dense, and highly flavored foods with simple, fresh items, and try to include at least one or two low-calorie and vegetarian choices.

- When you serve buffet-style, choose foods that are easy to pick up quickly. Too many offerings that must be spooned, sliced, or spread cause people to bunch up around the table. Avoid foods that are messy or difficult to eat, especially if guests will be standing while socializing.

- Think about your party. What serving plates will you use? Do you have enough serving spoons? How will you arrange the table? Where will you place the beverages? Make a list of all the ingredients you need before you shop so you don't waste time on the day of the party making extra trips to the grocery store. Do your shopping in advance, then prepare as many dishes as possible ahead. This may seem like alot of preparation, but the more time you put into the party before, the less hassle you will have later.

Consider some ways to make your guests

- Get some paper napkins with a welcome print such as : "Glad You came", "You Are Welcome", "God Bless You", you will be surprised how this can break the ice and start a conversation.
- If you have a large crowd, try to match the quiet ones with the more talkative people. This way everybody will feel comfortable and can have some fun too.
- Don't pray a stereotype prayer, include your guests as you pray before dinner.
- Be polite and oversee mishaps, leave your cotton lace tablecloth in the cupboard when you entertain children. You will put their parents at ease!
- If your guests give you a sincere "no thank you", do not insist that they try your most delicious dessert or cake, they might be on a diet and do not want to talk about it.
-Never let your company know that you stayed up until 2 o'clock in the morning (even if you did!) to finish the icing on the cake. It does not make them feel special.
- You do not have to prove your kitchen skills in doing everything yourself. Rather than being all run-down when your guests arrive, take 30 minutes to relax and pick up a cake at the bakery!
-Finally,Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
Heidi Maier

More Tips

- Cut thin slices of orange, lemon or lime, stud the peel with cloves
and float slices in a bowl of punch.

- Make an ice ring for your punch using fruit juice or even sherbet instead of water.
It looks nice and won't water down the punch as it melts.

- Outline the rim of a platter with herb sprigs.
Scatter with fresh cranberries for an appealing platter.

- Serve (or even bake) stuffing and vegetables inside tiny, hollowed out pumpkins.