How To Host Your Family’s Holiday Party (And Not Go Insane)

These tips will even please your hard-to-impress mother-in-law.

Family-Holiday-Partyphoto credit: michael alberstat

1) Make It A Brunch

How early do you need to wake up to prep brunch?  Let’s review the brunch plan, shall we? “With brunch, I always think that egg-based make-ahead dishes are great for a crowd, whether it’s a strata or something along those lines,” says Trish Magwood, a cookbook author and senior vice-president of food experience at the on-demand Toronto food company Feast. “It doesn’t have to be traditional. Brunch can mean anything.” She suggests other options, such as smoked fish or make-ahead scones that are frozen but can be baked in the oven so they’re toasty and tasty for guests. You could also order a small selection of treats from your local bakery to pick up before guests arrive.

2) Don’t Let The Kids Get Hungry

If possible, serve the little ones first, says Magwood. “When food isn’t on time for kids, that’s when things go off the rails,” she says. “You could even put out veggies and a nice winter dip, a fruit salad or fruit kebabs for the kids first. They are hungry and will have eaten it before even realizing it.”

3) Get Some Extra Hands To Help

Let the parents relax and send them off with older cousins to entertain them. No preteens to keep them busy? You could hire a teen babysitter to entertain them if you really want some time to chat with your guests or set up busy-time activities, such as a cookie-decorating station or colouring corner, says Debra Lykkemark, founder and CEO of Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events in Vancouver.