One of my good friends first put me onto this fabulous idea.
She had a party to host and had not prepared a single dish and it was six hours before party time. I was befuddled! I asked her how in the world she would be able to get everything finished in time and all she did was smile. She then explained that she never prepares the food for her holiday gatherings. Instead, she chooses to order everything. Essentially, she chooses to have food prepared at a restaurant and delivered just before the party starts.
What a wonderful idea! I thought this was such a great idea because it helps busy moms save time while still providing guests with a delicious meal. Another option, similar to home delivery, is to have your party catered. If you have a friend who loves to cook (and is good at it, of course) you could hire her to cater your party. This would put some extra cash in your friend’s pocket, especially for the holidays, and it would be less expensive for you than having it catered by outside folks. If you don’t personally know anyone who can cater the event then call around to local caterers to find someone.
Another great option is to host a potluck dinner. Every family who attends can bring a dish to share with the other guests. Make sure that you find out in advance what everyone intends to bring so that if necessary you can supplement dishes to make sure the meal is balanced. To make the potluck even more fun, you could have a contest. Have a designated “judge” and have pick the best dish in each category (i.e. soup, sides, dessert, drink, etc.) and give out small gift cards to the winners. Alternatively, you could give a small gift card to anyone who brings a dish as a “thank you” for attending and for bringing a dish.
Similar to the potluck idea, you could also create a thematic dinner. For example, it could be “Soup night” or “Wing Ding night” or any other theme that you’d like. Each guest can prepare their favourite dish within that theme and bring enough for all of the guests to sample. Once again, if you want you can make it into a contest and give out a gift card to the “best” dish.
These four options are great ways to alleviate the stress of trying to host a holiday dinner party by yourself. Use these strategies and you can have an enjoyable evening with good friends and not be stressed out in the process.