As Thanksgiving nears, I thought I would, in the spirit of public service, share with you Mama Fly's Guide to Entertaining. There are some tips on my list that you will not find elsewhere. Martha Stewart has done a lot for home decorating and entertaining, but in some areas she clearly lacks expertise.
Here we go:
1. Go to the Liquor Store. Buy lots.
2. Force small children to clean the bathrooms. In a pinch, skip your ensuite if you have one. Only people who know you extremely well will ever go in there, and they do so at their own risk.
3. Ask husband to do the cleaning job you hate the most. In my case, it is vacuuming. Men are more enthusiastic about jobs that involve an electrical appliance or engine of some type.
4. Tidy all the important school papers (and random crap) off your countertops and pile it in your room. Just like the ensuite, no one goes in there.
5. Force small children to put away their junk and tidy their rooms.
6. Make lots of food, and make it good.
7. Check bathrooms and put out fresh towels, etc.
8. Check kids' rooms, sigh and close the doors.
9. Open the booze.
10. Copious amounts of wine or other alcoholic beverages are the most effective tool for entertaining successfully. Carefully evaluate the condition of your home in order to determine what type of beverage to serve. If things are particularly sketchy, you may want to start with hard liqour. Several shots of vodka or rum in a blender full of fruity drinks can be your fallback in extreme situations. A beer or glass of wine will be sufficient for the times you really have it together. The goal is to have your guests tipsy enough that they aren't sure if they tripped over a dust bunny or stumbled over their own feet.
11. Your level of concern over your home's cleanliness is inversely proportional to the number of glasses of wine you consume at the event. Just be moderate, unless you prefer your guests to leave discussing your drunken state instead of your dusty coffee table.
12. At first glance this may appear to only work for guests who imibibe; however, it works for non-drinkers too - they will be too busy watching the other guests get tipsy to look at your baseboards.
Happy Holidays, everyone! I sincerely hope this helps you relax at that upcoming family dinner.