What to Assign Guests Who Can't Sit Still

November 21, 2011

To celebrate the arrival of the FOOD52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide, we'll be featuring samples of the app all week. Today, we're pulling one from our Holiday Tip Sheet, which we built by polling you crafty entertainers on the FOOD52 Hotline.

Read on below for how we like to put the guests to work.

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What to Assign Guests Who Can't Sit Still     

CLEANING!!! - JessicaBakes

Chop wood for the fireplace, shovel the snow off the driveway, pluck the turkey, or crack walnuts. - thirschfeld

I usually ask guests to open/pour wine. Sometimes I ask them to set out dishes of appetizers. Depending on the friends, I often say, "Honey, just sit there and look pretty." - Oh Cake

I love to turn tasks over to someone who genuinely wants to help. That way, I can keep a better eye on the kitchen. Opening wine, refilling glasses, mixing drinks, replenishing hors d'oeuvres plates, lighting candles, even stirring something on the stove that needs to not stick or burn. It helps me avoid "Oh s***!" moments. - boulangere

Setting out dishes usually works. If chairs need to be moved into the dining area, ask them to do that. Send them after any rambunctious children to get their hands washed. Also just give them a bench to the side in the kitchen and ask them to keep you entertained as you finish things up. Sometimes they'll sit still if their mouths can move! - Syronai

I usually press them into: napkin folding (the fancy way; give them printed directions); writing out and decorating place cards for the guests (I have markers, glitter, glue, and holiday-themed items such as leaves or little pumpkins on hand. This is particularly good for kids. Can you tell I used to be an elementary school teacher?); securing the candles into the candlesticks and lighting them; wiping smudge marks off the good crystal; ricing the potatoes; bartending; uncorking the wine; walking the dog. - wssmom

I will ask them to select and be in charge of music, and to let other guests in and steer them to where the coats are being placed. My kitchen is quite small, so not much room for helping hands, but I like having friends lurk in the doorway and chat (as long as I'm not doing anything too critical, like toasting bread or nuts!) - deanna1001

I have been known to ask guests to do flowers. I usually have already pre-cut them very low and I have the small vases out, for 3 or 4 small bouquets way below eye level. Then the helpful guests can arrange the flower vases and candles on the table to their liking. Or if they bring flowers, I will ask them to do their thing. - Bevi

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The Food52 Holiday Recipe & Survival Guide

Learn more about our first ever interactive book built for the iPad, which was crowd-sourced from the likes of you -- the mighty FOOD52 community -- and curated by Amanda & Merrill.

Buy the app here. (We think it's worth it just to watch Amanda & Merrill tackle building a gingerbread house.)


Photo by James Ransom

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
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Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

Choose your holiday adventure! Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help.

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