Dear Helen Hartman,
You’ve probably answered this before but here goes – we are hosting a holiday dinner party for my husband’s coworkers and it’s making me batty. There must be eight different dietary needs/preferences and I don’t know how many faiths/philosophies represented in the group. I want to be a respectful and conscientious hostess but am wondering how to make everyone happy without losing what’s left of my holiday cheer.
Dear Loved One,
Seems like every holiday/hostessing season Helen gets this question.
|Here's ANOTHER one who doesn't know her bass from her elbow macaroni!|
I’d like to tell you that my answers is always the same but that would require me to go back and look and see what I said before. Who has the time?
|Or the interest. Really, I'm Cissy Gregg, for Pete's sake! I have no idea who this is by I love her instantly and isn't finding pics of things I love a more productive use of my time?|
So Helen will just do what she does best, make you do the work. Ask yourself – what is your role in this party?
|To keep the drinks spiked? When you buy 6 you serve 12, if you add enough booze!|
To make your guests feel at home.
|Lolly told Eugene to make himself feel at home in her house and he immediately sat on her counter, started criticizing her cooking and helped himself to all the cash she had in her cookie jar.|
You cannot please everyone.
|Yes, I'm sure that's very interesting but look at the time - it's I don't give a hoot o'clock.|
But you can be kind to everyone. Oh, quit whining, it won’t kill you. Make an effort. Include a note with the invite asking people to contact you in advance if they have special dietary needs. Of course I know your friends and family and some goofball will wait until the last minute so plan to have some things that seem generally non lethal. In other words, actual food. For example:
|Chicken, grapes, avocado, pineapple and bananas - the fact that it's sauced makes it a party chicken.|
|I HAVE NO IDEA - Sorry for the blurry pics but it's an old newsprint book and they kinda started out blurry - and it still didn't make the food look better!!!|
The fewer ingredients the better.
|At first glance it looks... um... but it's a turkey breast stuffed with veggies with fruit, nuts and veggies on the side . Who says good food has to LOOK good?|
As for not offending many faiths or lack thereof. First, Helen simply would not invite anyone into her home who would be offended by Helen’s décor and it’s reflection of her life.
|Look at 'em coming up the walk like we're going to actually let them inside!|
I do invite people who might be offended by Helen herself.
|I have a whole dishwasher full of dishes but I just need this one glass full of gin to get my party started.|
Hey, even the hostess deserves some fun.
If a work party is not being held in a ‘neutral’ place then there is no need to be neutral. You are, in essence, inviting people to share in your celebration.
Remember as always the best way to have a good time is to relax... and let others do the heavy lifting.