5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining with a Baby on Your Hip
In my mind, when I'm a hostess for a party, I'm calm, cool, and collected — and more than likely wearing pearl earrings while laughing elegantly and holding a martini, dry.
Never mind that I have no idea what a dry martini even is, but it sounds like something a gracious hostess would drink.
In my reality, however, as a holiday hostess with a bunch of little kids, including a baby, I'm usually running around like that guy in the “Company is Coming” video to clean my house and breaking a sweat running after my baby in between greeting guests.
So to help our new hostess sides — the gracious, collected hostess with the frazzled mom hostess — let's brush up on a few holiday entertaining tips, shall we?
Set up a self-serve coffee station
Coffee is a must for any holiday party, for guests and hosts alike — especially if that hostess happens to have a baby who has been up all night. *Cough, cough*
To make everyone's favorite stop in the party a little easier on you, set up a self-serve coffee station with a single-serve brewer. If you have room in your holiday budget, you might want to upgrade to a single-serve brewer that accepts any kind of K-Cup or private-label cup or your own coffee, too. Include plenty of mugs, spoons for stirring, napkins, and store-bought pastries for snacking. You're not Martha Stewart, after all.
As a fun twist, include cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, marshmallows, and more festive toppings for holiday-coffee drinkers.
Put that crockpot to good use
I am a huge, huge fan of the crockpot for any meal that I can possibly use it for. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals regardless, but for holiday meals, doing the prep work at night and letting the crockpot work some magic just can't be beat. Some of my go-to recipes include Overnight, Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Crockpot Breakfast Casserole, and French Toast Casserole, all of which are crockpot friendly.
And next up, I need to try this overnight crockpot cinnamon roll recipe from A Part of the Whole, because what guest at your holiday party wouldn't want to wake up to the smell of cinnamon rolls?
Whip up a guest bathroom “gift” basket
Does anyone else look forward to going to weddings just to raid the fancy little toiletries basket in the bathroom? No? Just me? Well, now that we've got that awkwardly established, you can use this pretty bit of inspiration from Our Home Away From Home to quickly whip up your own fancy guest bathroom gift basket for all those holiday guests that will be, er, using your restroom.
If you have any soaps and lotions leftover from hotel trips, be sure to use those up, too! You can even combine them into bigger containers for presentation. And you can repurpose kitchen glass containers or cupcake stands and tiers to hold lotions and soaps.
Host a holiday competition
It might sound counterproductive, but one way to make a party hopping without a lot of work on your part is to initiate a festive and friendly holiday competition. Our family loves to do an annual Gingerbread House competition, and I keep a stash of cheap supplies on hand to get the party going every year: paper plates, tubs of white frosting, gumdrops, chocolate chips, and graham crackers for a super-simple take on gingerbread-house making.
Last year, we even printed out a few “awards” like Most Creative and Most Colorful so the kids could have their houses judged.
Hire a helper
If you know you will have way too much on your plate and will need an extra set of hands on deck, consider hiring an older cousin to help entertain the little kids. Throw in a few bucks, and you'll be surprised by how helpful a 10-year-old can actually be.
Do you have any tips for holiday entertaining?