The High Holidays are around the corner. Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is a time to celebrate with a traditional meal. Whether this is the first time you’re hosting the holiday at your house or the 21st time hosting, you can always use a refresher to get some great tips and pointers.

The Timeline

By this point, your family (and/or friends) should know they’re coming over to your place for the holiday, so let’s assume that part is done. As for the rest, here’s how it should play out in the days leading up to the event:

  • One week out: Make your menu. Decide what food (and drinks) you’ll be serving. Take note of any food allergies or aversions of any of your guests to ensure you have something everyone is able to eat. As you’re making your menu, figure out what you’ll be cooking, what you’ll need to pick up, and so on
  • 3 days out: Go grocery shopping and get everything you need to make your meal. Plan your table settings and, if necessary, make place cards for the table. Make sure you have enough plates, napkins, silverware, cups, and so on. Plan any centerpieces or decor you want to display.
  • 2 days out: If you’ll be having flowers, pick them up and arrange them. Plan any centerpieces or decor you want to display. Start tidying up the house.
  • 1 day out: Get all your platters out and make a note of what will go on each, what serving utensils will be used. If you’re doing assigned seats (which is a good idea if it’s a larger group), put your place cards at their designated spots. Set your table(s) and arrange your decorations. Cook anything that can be cooked beforehand.
  • Day of: When you wake up, clean up the house. Make sure piles are put away, shelves are dusted, tables are clean and the entry way is uncluttered. Write down what needs to go in the oven and when, pick up ice, light any candles that you plan on lighting (as it gets closer to start time) and – most importantly – make sure to relax. You want to finish up everything in enough time to leisurely get ready, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the evening and your company.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

The holidays are such a special and fun time. Some of my best memories are from family holiday gatherings. Whether you’re spending Rosh Hashanah with family, with friends, or just with your significant other, enjoy the process of setting up for the meal. It’s always a lot of work to host anything, especially a holiday meal, but it’s worth it in the end. Don’t stress out too much; if things don’t go perfectly according to plan, that’s okay! By the time your guests arrive, the hard work should be done, so take time time to eat, drink, and celebrate the new year with your loved ones. Cheers!

You may also be interested in 6 Reasons To Be Thankful You’re Jewish

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