Simple Entertaining Doesn't Exist -- Spread it Out:
If you find that you like to entertain often, spread out the work
over the year so you're always "sort of" prepared.
Dry Goods -- Living & Entertaining is
a pretty annoying site, but it's got a good primer on the kinds
of stuff that you might want to have around for a party and it
doesn't have that "it's gotta match and be expensive mentality.
I disagree on the paper plates & napkins thing though. Sometimes
they're perfect for informal parties. I try to stock up on them
when they're cheap, and always try to get ones that coordinate
with each other and the tablecloths that I already own so that
leftovers aren't a problem.
Wet Goods -- I have a large closet in my living room. I've
set up the bottom half of that closet to be the "bar".
I try (emphasis on try) to keep it stocked with a bottle or two
of wine and a selection of spirits. When stuff goes on sale or
I run out of a particular thing, I try to restock. That way a party
doesn't immediately mean a $100 bill at the liquor store. The glassware
stays in there along with the other alcohol related serving pieces.
It looks gracious and a fully stocked bar costs about $20 per month.
Spread out your parties -- A winter holiday party doesn't
have to be on the 25th. If you host your party in early December,
you'll enjoy hosting and the rest of your holidays more, and your
guests will appreciate not having to party hop through three obligations.
Spread out your spread -- With the exception of a dinner
party, everything doesn't have to be done at once. If you put all
your appetizers out at once, they'll all start to look peaked at
the same time too. Put some out, socialize, put out a few more,
have a cocktail.
it in Advance >>