Part of summer means celebrating.
And one of the first celebrations always takes place on July 4th (for those living in the U.S.)
How do you gather family and friends over to celebrate and still enjoy it yourself?
I get asked this question quite frequently from friends so I thought I would share my secrets (actually they’re not secrets at all), maybe tips is the better word.
For those of you who follow regularly you already know my love for entertainment, but my most favorite entertaining moments are the times I gather my family together. This includes extended family which means, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, sisters, brothers and close friends as well (becuase they’re family also).
For this type of celebration I forgo my usual homemade invites and simply send out a mass text or phone call saying something like: BBQ on the 4th of July at our home at ____? Love to have you join us! I love the group texts because everyone can see who is able to attend.
Second step: Menu
I know in advance that I want to be part of the celebration and gathering and not cooking during this time so I decide on a type of menu I can prepare ahead of time.
For the 4th of July it’s tradition to grill burgers and dogs and that’s exactly what we do. The night before I’ll mix the hamburger with spices and pre-patty them so they’re already to be thrown on the grill when everyone is hungry. I then place all the condiments for both on one big (outdoor type) platter. I pre-slice the tomatoes, lettuce, and onion before hand and place them in separate zip locks which makes it easy to just place on the tray right before serving.
I make my homemade potato salad the day before and any other treats I may be serving.
This year I decided to make a fun holiday jello parfet (I think it tastes so much better when it looks cute) and these I assembled the morning of the celebration but made the jello the night before.
I decided to buy sugar and linzer cookies from my favorite bakery to lesson the stress (always a smart decision).
And then when family and friends ask if they can bring something, I gladly say SURE! Ok, sometimes this is difficult for me to say, but it sure makes it worth it when I remember to do so. Therefore fruit trays, and macrone salads, as well as chips and dips were added to the table.
Oh, and did I mention I also use paper products? We are celebrating outdoors and I’m enjoying the evening as well, the last thing I’m going to do is worry about washing dishes . . . I’m heading to the fireworks later.
Third-have your area staged and ready when they arrive.
I always clean my outdoor tables and chairs in the morning and then set up a few serving stations before anyone arrives. This alone lets everyone know where to go and relax for the evening.
I do think its important to have a drink station of some kind, this time it was as simple as grab a water from one tub or a coke from another.
Fourth- Enjoy the time!
After all this is the whole point in gathering everyone together, it’s to celebrate not only the day but one another. As you can see, it’s nothing fancy, it’s just my backyard with a whole lot of love thrown in!
And you know me, have to send them off with some type of goodie! (I simply filled these tin jars with salt water taffy, assorted chocolates and sparklers.
Hope all of you are able to do some type of celebrating this summer.
Ok, now it’s time to think up my next gathering.
Linking up with Jann, Carol, and Jo for SYC