Easter. Hoppin to it
I’ve been a blog delinquent. I have a backlog to share but thought I would start here since it is Easter tomorrow…
If you’re lucky enough to have friends or family sharing Easter with you tomorrow – we wish you happy hosting. Our number one rule when hosting big family gatherings is food – and lots of it! Variety for all the picky eaters and volume for all the voracious eaters.
The most delicate parts of hosting a big family function are often keeping everyone’s scheduling needs and eating needs in order in your head. In our case tomorrow is a blur of our whole family together, two different church times, an egg hunt, three different nap times, two baptisms and a dinner for 18. Crazy. But the best kind of fun.
The biggest tip from me is prepare in advance, which doesn’t help for Easter since it’s two hours away… apologies for the delay. In my case sugar cookies as name plates were made on Tuesday, three varieties of potatoes were made Friday, Mille Feuille for dessert made Saturday and just finishing the sauce for the green beans tonight that will be steamed quickly tomorrow. I’m not hosting tomorrow, my lovely sister is, but I’m thrilled to be contributing to the fun meal. By having everything done in advance, the evening can be more about the people and less about the stress of getting food ready and out on the table. It means less stress for you and for your guests who will no doubt be asking – ‘what can i do?’
We have an adult table and a kids table at big dinners like this one so that some level of conversation can happen for both groups. We also ensure there is a special detail that’s fun to sit down to for our big family meals; it might be a Christmas cracker and joke, or an Easter sugar cookie dressed up like a carrot with your name on it, a game for kids while they wait for food, or a little box of crayons and kraft paper for kids. Sitting down to dinner should be fun. It should also still involve manners. This means kids ask before leaving the table, practice table manners by trying new food, having conversations at normal levels and participating in traditions like grace. This is a great, fun place to practice being polite for young ones and a wonderful place to reconnect over a lingering meal for everyone. It also means as an adult waiting until everyone is seated to eat, minding the conversation topics (and how much you talk), and showing your appreciation for the food and the host.
Hosting means not expecting to have help with dinner prep or dishes (but being very thankful when gracious guests help you especially with clean up!) It means ensuring wine or beer glasses are full, people are smiling, and food is a plenty. It means saving the victim from the chatty relative in an unassuming way, rescuing the small child from the barrage of cheek pinchers with a little wink, and freshening the air with grace when things go sour for a moment (figuratively or literally
). All the little things that go wrong (they are inevitable) are met with a smile. It’s the best job there is. You are CEO of your home and president of your party – and you have the ability to make it the best dinner anyone has ever had, that day.
Enjoy – have fun – and we’ll all raise a glass to you! And please, share your Easter traditions or etiquette here as well. Happy Easter!