You cannot cook the food, serve drinks, pick up empty glasses, clean up spills, put music on the stereo and still be the congenial host and introduce your friends and neighbors. If you try to do it all, you won’t have any fun at all! Don’t be up to your elbows in watermelon balls when the doorbell rings. GET HELP!

  • Do you have a friend who is hosting a graduation party this spring whom you could swap?
  • Do you have friends with children graduating next year?
  • Do you have helpful relatives planning to come? They may be happy to lend a hand, but don’t assume that they will. We’ve heard several complaints about the help high tailing it to the back yard and never lifting a finger.
  • If all else fails, hire somebody. It’s worth every penny! Hire a food server from your favorite restaurant. Negotiate an hourly wage, and if you are happy with their service give them a tip.

Whether you recruit a friend or hire someone ask them to come early and give them instructions. Give them a quick tour of the house, including where to put gifts. Make your expectations clear ahead of time.

In addition to having someone help in the kitchen, ask an outgoing person to take photos. Many parents complain that they forgot to take photographs during their party.

Give your helpers a thank you gift.  My sister-in-law gave me a photo of the grad party kitchen crew (we had a great time!) and a flowering plant for my garden. One of our friends who served a Mexican taco bar with the help of two neighbors thanked them with these chili pepper aprons. Something thoughtfully tied to the event is especially appreciated. A gift certificate to a nice local restaurant would also be appropriate.