Oh Say, Can You Host

With America’s birthday just around the corner, you very well may be planning to host a celebration. The good news? You don’t have to stress over the details. Here are seven ways to make sure this year’s 4th of July celebration is laid back, delicious, and fun for all – host included!

1. Keep the menu simple – and let others help.

Plan on one meat and one veggie entrée option, and keep it at that. (Veggie kabobs can make a beautiful – and grill-friendly – vegetarian option that tends to be a winner.) If guests ask if they can bring something, graciously accept the offer and ask them to bring a side dish, a beverage, or a dessert. That’s time you save in the kitchen, which will make the whole event much more fun for you.

2. Assign a grill master.

Who will man the grill to cook up all the deliciousness? Have this figured out beforehand, for sure. Be sure to give the role to someone who you can trust to independently run with it, leaving your time freed to tend to other details.

3. Skip the cocktails.

Instead, offer a selection of beer and wine (we suggest whites and rosés for this summertime get together) for your guests. With this option, your only prep time is shopping for said beverages. Display them in bins filled with ice, making for a self-serve situation that avoids you having to keep your fridge full of drinks. (Oh, and don’t forget the non-alcoholic options. Pick up some iced tea, lemonade, and bottles of water for the kiddos and non-drinkers in attendance.)

4. Break out the lawn games.

Games like bocce, croquet, or corn hole invite guests to relax, mingle, and stick around for a while. If you don’t have a lawn game set handy, ask a friend to bring one along to keep from having to purchase one just for this event.

5. Keep your set-up simple and intuitive.

It’s the 4th of July, so you need some red white and blue, but don’t overdo it. Consider stringing some white Christmas lights and incorporating red and blue through your tablecloths, napkins, and plates.

6. Rethink your condiment set-up.

To avoid a condiment mess, serve up condiments in the empty cups of a muffin tin, letting guests serve themselves without crowding the table with bottles and jars galore.

7. Please don’t stop the music.

Rather than taking time to curate a playlist before the party (unless that’s your thing, in which case – go for it!), identify a couple of Spotify playlists that will fit the mood and have them ready to go for your party.