As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day parties offer a great opportunity to celebrate a variety of life events while remembering the individuals who gave all in service to the country. Memorial Day parties can be used to celebrate the end of school, graduations, and the time of year where outdoor grilling becomes a frequent activity for many.
With that in mind, consider these simple do’s and don’ts when hosting a Memorial Day celebration.
DO: Plan the Menu Early
Traditionally, grilling tends to be the preferred cooking method for Memorial Day parties. Depending on who you’re inviting, check to see if any specific diet restrictions will be at play.
We don’t just mean preparing a vegetarian option for guests to enjoy, either. Ask everyone to let you know about specific food allergens or intolerances that have to be addressed for safety reasons. It’s possible the liquids and spices you plan on using in the marinade may be dangerous for some of your guests, or they may not be interested in the planned entrée.
It always helps to communicate.
DON’T: Be an Irritable Neighbor
If your Memorial Day party threatens to cross onto your neighbor’s property and cause damage, do your best to observe and respect the house boundaries. And if the Memorial Day party stretches past 8 p.m., don’t be afraid to move the party indoors. That’s just common courtesy.
In return, hopefully your vegetarian neighbor won’t send an angry note demanding the immediate halt to any outdoor meat grilling since they don’t like the smell of a carnivore’s dinner. That’s also common courtesy.
DO: Ask for Help
Depending on the number of people invited, the host always has the option of asking people to bring a dish to share. That helps spread the food costs amongst all the guests instead of just the hosts.
This doesn’t just apply to food, either. The host can also request guests to bring ice, dishes and cutlery, water, coolers or other food containers, or even Tupperware for the leftovers.
DON’T: Demand High-Price Items
Do you really need a pallet of napkins? Does the ketchup really have to be directly imported from Tuscany? If we have to ask how much the paper plates cost, could we really afford them? No matter the type of party you plan on having, insisting on expensive products can bring unneeded stress to the host and their guests.
Besides, a bag of napkins from the local corner store usually works just as effectively as a high-volume container from a wholesale warehouse.
DO: Decorate If You Want
Memorial Day parties don’t usually require decorations, but if you want to make the place look nice for the party, feel free to decorate accordingly.
The nice thing about Memorial Day decorations? They can also be used for Fourth of July parties or any patriotic-themed events, so you can get continued use if you choose a traditional Memorial Day decoration theme.
DON’T: Forget to Clean
Even if you don’t plan on decorating, make sure your bathrooms and any home locations where guests will be hanging out have all been cleaned. Depending on how long it’s been since you last cleaned your home, this step may take a little while to complete.
It doesn’t have to be spotless, but guests generally prefer a clean party location.
Then it's time to relax. Hosting any party in your home can be stressful and challenging, so don’t forget to take some time to enjoy yourself like everyone else.
Lastly, be sure to make time and remember why you’re celebrating Memorial Day, too. Memorial Day began as a way to honor those who died in the Civil War and has become a day to honor all American veterans who gave their lives in sacrifice to our nation. Aside from hosting gatherings, many Americans will also participate in parades and visit loved ones at the cemetery.