I love this time of year but let’s face it…it’s also the most stressful time of year, especially if you’re the one hosting. AND if there’s kids involved, forget about it. But if you love the pressure (like I do), as a host you want everyone to feel welcomed.
From invites to games and decor, Melissa Elders, founder of Nibble+squeak, the popular dining club for parents with pipsqueaks, is sharing a few go-to tips and tricks for holiday entertaining with kids in tow.
To put your guests at ease, be crystal-clear from the outset about who is invited. Communicate whether partners, friends, children, pets, and so on are welcome to party it up, or if not, be specific about who should attend. But c’mon, it’s the holidays… and nobody likes a scrooge!
There’s really no need to stress over separating the food for the children and the food for the adults. Have you ever noticed that when there’s a designated “kids food,” the adults end up eating most of it? So whether you are going all-out fancy or sticking to a specific theme, it’s all about options, and a little excess is allowed at this time of year — especially if it puts your guests at ease. It’s also a good idea to plan a specialty drink without alcohol as well as one with — both for any kids in attendance and for your *oops* not-yet-outed pregnant colleague.
Tinsel- and twinkle-up your abode, and then let the soft light be the star. If you’ve got toddlers underfoot, make sure any fragile ornaments are up high on the Christmas tree and keep those extension cords tucked away… basically anything your dog would delight in breaking isn’t childproof either.
Party Games for Kids
Again, no need to stress about entertainment just for the kids; instead, find an activity everyone can enjoy and get the little ones to break the ice! Turn up the music and invite the children to get up and go wild — it will get everyone out of their food comas and up on their feet. If the group wants something more sedentary, go ahead and breakout a game, but nothing too complex. Find some blocks and get a jenga-like tower going. When it collapses, that’s your signal to serve dessert.
Take a tip from the fancy restaurants and send your guests home with breakfast for the next morning. Plan to have some paper containers on hand so you can dish up dessert leftovers and hand them over upon departure.