Holiday Entertaining Guide - Page 37 - Party, with kids

Holiday Entertaining Guide
- Page 37
Party, with kids
Every year, my friends and I come together to celebrate the new year in the Hudson Valley.This four-family sleepover is my very favorite event of the year. With delicious food, lots of downtime, and a chance to sit and talk for hours, it’s a perfect way to start each year feeling refreshed.

As kids have entered into the equation— there are now six between us—things have gotten a bit trickier. But we’ve continued to hold onto this tradition of gathering around the table, telling stories, and eating and drinking good food and wine.

I know this year will be no different.The music may compete with the low hum of white noise coming in through dueling baby monitors, but we’ll be too busy enjoying a gourmet dinner to mind.

Here’s how we pull it off.

1. Feed the kids early

There is no better night than New Year’s Eve to serve the little ones Annie’s mac and cheese at 5:30 p.m. While they eat, the grown-ups nibble on a simple assortment of store-bought cheese, crackers, and olives. Everyone is happy, there’s plenty of time to get the kids calmed down for an early bedtime, and it sets us up for an adults-only dinner at 8:30 p.m.

Music makes it better: My husband packs his guitar and leads the kids—and the more musically inclined adults—through his