Does the idea of hosting a holiday dinner make you want to go hide in the corner? Often people avoid hosting family or friend gatherings because they see it as a pile of work! And no one wants to have to work harder than they already are.
Being a great hostess doesn’t mean turning yourself into knots. Try these easy Easter entertaining ideas and stress-free tips from a hostess who believes holiday dinners should be fun, not stressful.
Easy Easter Entertaining Ideas
Pull Out the Good China
Making a splash with your table doesn’t have to be difficult. You know you have a host of good china just sitting in the sideboard. It will take you 10 minutes to get out the basic plates and silverware. Don’t worry about the fancy bowls, serving platters and whatnot. Make this easy on yourself and get the basics out.
Put out the china at everyone’s place before they arrive, creating an immediate visual pop. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, get out the crystal goblets. But really, everyday wine glasses will do just fine if you don’t want the extra hassle.
Cooking is overrated. I know, I know. But you’re the hostess. It doesn’t mean you have to slave in the kitchen. Let others do that for you.
Host a Pot Luck Dinner: You have the basics covered for Easter dinner from HoneyBaked Ham. Have your guests bring the rest! People are always asking what they can bring. Why not ask them to bring the wine, the dessert or even the salad. You can provide the scrumptious ham, turkey and side dishes.
Decorate With What You Already Have
I love doing crafts. I love the look they add to a room. But when you’re hosting a dinner, there’s no reason to make yourself stressed out with one more to-do. Instead, use what you already have in the house.
Put your eggs all in one basket: You probably already decorated Easter eggs with the kids. Why not put them all in a wicker basket as a centerpiece. Throw in a couple of colored feathers that you may have in your kids’ craft stash and you have an instant centerpiece!
Cloth napkins: If you don’t have a table runner, you can place an open cloth napkin diagonally in the center of your table for a touch of color. Then place your centerpiece on top.
Candles: I’m not talking about one or two candles. You know you have a stash of these things. Pull them ALL out. (Just avoid the really fragrant ones — you don’t want to overpower the room.) Put them throughout the room. They will create a magical glow you and your guests won’t forget.
Repurpose your wreath: This year I made a fun Spring clothespin wreath. I could easily take that down off of the wall, remove the ribbon it’s hanging from and place it on the table. Add a potted flower in the center (you can easily get at the grocery store) or pot of wheatgrass and you have an imaginative centerpiece that stands out. (Learn how to make your own clothespin wreath.)
Have someone else decorate: People are always asking what they can bring. Ask THEM to bring the centerpiece. They’ll love being in charge of getting arranged flowers or buying a potted flower from the grocery store. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just means you don’t have to worry about it.
Make Cleaning Up a Community Event
Since when did hosting mean you have to clean up all by yourself? I grew up in a family where you automatically just started helping everybody in the kitchen. We don’t live in the times of Mad Men for goodness sakes!
When dinner’s over, just move the conversation into the kitchen. Lightly (but directly) ask everyone to help you clear the table. Then give everyone a job. This isn’t your chance to be bossy. Just ask nicely. You’d be surprised at how happy people are to have some direction and to be of use.
To be honest, some of the best conversations I’ve had with my family have been over us drying the dishes. One person washes. Others help dry while another puts the dishes away.