Hosting Easter with Little Kids

I don’t want to let too much time pass without writing down exactly how we pulled off hosting Easter for 17 guests … with our two year old and our six month old! At first thought, hosting holidays and caring for two young kids seems daunting and impossible; yet, the alternative – traveling to someone else’s house, packing toys, bringing diapers, working around nap times (or worse, forfeiting the nap and ending up with cranky kids) – has challenges of its own.

So here we were, deciding to host Easter for 17 people.

Without further ado, here are my tips if you find yourself hosting a holiday get-together and you have young children, after recently having come off of a successful Easter Sunday.

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1. IT’S ALL ABOUT A POTLUCK 

Listen, getting your house ready, cleaned, organized, and possibly even decorated is no small task. Making sure you’re stocked with enough paper goods, coffee, and serving utensils takes work and planning. Then on top of that you’re expected to cook? No. People want to help. Luckily, and luckily is a huge understatement, I am blessed to have amazing family and friends who all said, “what can I bring?” the moment I invited them. Don’t feel like you have to do everything.

I was absolutely tempted (for about a quarter of a second) to be the one to truly “do it all,” but the reality is that doing it all would not have allowed me to enjoy the day. So not worth it. So delegate certain dishes to certain people. And hey, if you enjoy the cooking and meal preparation, delegate the other stuff. Maybe one aunt brings the drinks. Another friend brings the paper plates and napkins. And so on and so forth. For the sake of all hosts working hard on holidays, please don’t feel that twinge of guilt for not doing nor wanting to do it all. What are friends and family for after all?! 😉

2. BUY SOMETHING PRE-MADE

For our Easter, I knew I wanted to serve ham. And the store down the street makes a darn good ham. All we had to do was heat it up and carve it, and it was such a hit! If you know what you want to serve is better from the store than if you were to make it yourself, and buying would save you a boatload of time and effort, then buy it! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a few shortcuts to save your sanity. Plus if you know that what you’re buying is a crowd pleaser, you’ve got yourself a win-win!

3. THE FINAL CLEANING

Something that has been working amazingly well in our household is the final cleaning before the festivities begin. You see, our Australian Cattle Dog Dasher sheds A LOT. Combine the shedding with the tornado-like tendencies of our toddler and the house gets pretty messy pretty quickly. How I’ve combatted this is by doing the following:

  • Afternoon before event (during kids’ nap): Pick up! This includes putting away toys, mail, laundry, etc.
  • Night before event (when kids are asleep): Wipe down! This includes all {sticky} surfaces including (but not limited to) counters, tables, chairs, coffee tables, and kitchen sink.
  • Morning before event (get husband/partner/family member to take kids and dog for a nice long walk): Before you clean ANYTHING, bask in the peace of a quiet, empty house … ahhhhh 🙂 … Ok, now is when I do my final vacuuming. It’s also an opportunity, while everyone is out, to get myself organized (mentally as well as physically) for the day ahead.

4. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, VISIT MORE & CLEAN LESS

You’re going to be cleaning one way or another so you may as well visit while your guests are there! Sure you might be tired by saving the cleaning for when everyone leaves but holidays really are about the friends and family and connections that we share together. Don’t miss out on that because you have to wash a dish or wipe down a surface. Play a lawn game, go for a walk, and relax in the company of good friends and family.

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This is four generations! How amazing and blessed!