We’ve reached the final week in our series about entertaining. And just in time since we will celebrate Thanksgiving this week!
Today, we’ll focus on what to do during a party that you host.
The most important thing about hosting is to enjoy your time with your guests. Presumably, you invited them because you like them and want to spend time with them. If you are stuck in the kitchen all night, you aren’t doing that.
As much as possible, limit your tasks during the party to those that require direct interaction: passing appetizers, refilling drinks, taking coats, etc. Apart from emergency situations (like something spills), it’s not the time for major housekeeping. As you go through the evening, keep your eye on little things like refilling bowls or picking up stray trash, but it’s really not the time to carry the trash outside or mop the kitchen floor. Have a place to keep the dirty dishes so that you can do them after everyone leaves. (Please, do not leave them until the next morning. They will be even more disgusting, and it will be a horrible start to your day. Waking up to a restored house is a beautiful thing.)
As the host, you will want to introduce guests to each other and draw them into the general flow of things. keep your eyes open for someone who is not engaged and offer them a way into conversations. (But do keep in mind that some people prefer observing to participating). You may find that, after a few minutes, your guests will begin entertaining themselves!
If you are serving alcohol, keep a general eye on folks’ consumption. Do not hesitate to call a ride-share service for anyone who has had too much, even if they disagree. You want everyone to get home safely.
If some guests overstay their welcome, it’s perfectly acceptable to stand and thank them for coming. Most folks will take the hint!