How To Host a Successful Superbowl Party: A Countdown Checklist

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If you are hosting a party this Sunday, you may be pretending that it's all about the outcome of the battle between Broncos and Seahawks. But, everyone knows that the real reason for any party is for everyone to have a good time and the best way to guarantee that happens is to be a relaxed and happy host. If you want your Superbowl shindig to be a success, the time between now and Sunday evening is key. Once the kickoff happens, you'll be able to kick back and ENJOY along with the rest of your guests. Here's how...

NOW:

By this point, I'm guessing you've already got a guest list, but if you are one of those admirably impulsive people who might be deciding to pull this party together now, never fear. We live in a time of instant communication so you are all good — as long as you commit to who, what, where and when and then get a move on.

Pick a time for everyone to arrive and hop on Twitter, send out a mass text or email, open up Facebook — however you can best get the word out, do it and do it right away.

Don't forget to let people know how to let you know if they can make it and be sure to spread the word if its going to be a BYOB or Potluck affair.

SATURDAY MORNING:

First things first. From what I understand, the consuming of FOOD is very important to this particular gathering, so get in gear and decide what you are going to serve.

Some initial questions to ponder before you get to the details: Are you cooking or catering? Starting from scratch or gathering pre-made goodies from the market? Calling in a bunch of pizzas, pot-lucking it or sticking to simple snacks?

Your answers to the above dictate what has to happen next.

If you are cooking and need some ideas, here are a few goodies from The Kitchn:

If you are catering or ordering in, call NOW and make sure that your order can be accommodated in time — it's rarely too early to get the order in and if you think that a particular place has perfect Superbowl-style snacks, so do lots of other people. Get in there and get it set.

If you are cooking or pulling together pre-made stuff from a market, make your shopping list.

Once either your ordering is done or grocery list is written, decide what else you need to get from the world for your party. Think about drinks, ice, glasses and plates (if you are going disposable) and make that list. Don't forget other necessities that you may be low on: paper napkins, toilet paper, coffee.

Need some info on wine, beer and booze? Here are a few posts from the Kitchn:


EARLY SATURDAY AFTERNOON:
Hit the stores. Procrastination is not your friend at this point. Just think how happy you'll be when all the shopping is done and you're back home. Now go.

LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON:
If you are cooking, start cooking. Make anything and everything ahead that you possibly can. Do as much prep on things that you need to wait to cook until tomorrow, along with unpacking and organizing pre-made things that you'll be serving.

If you aren't cooking, clean!

Don't forget to check on stored glasses, plates or utensils that you might need to bring out to see if anything needs a fresh wash.

EARLY SUNDAY MORNING:

Clean, clean, clean and clean some more. If there is lots (too much!) to do, stay calm and focus on a few key spots: the room where you'll watch the game, the entryway, the kitchen and the bathroom.

LATE SUNDAY MORNING:

Do a double-check lap around the house and through your grocery and other shopping lists from yesterday. Do you have everything you need? This is your last chance to run and get any forgotten items, so take a minute to be sure. If you have to go out and pick anything up, go now.

If you have ordered food for pick up or deliver, call now to confirm the time(s).

It can't hurt to check your TV set-up now to make sure everything is functioning properly — since its going to be a main attraction later, you don't want any surprises.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON:

Get the party stuff out and ready — set up the buffet, get the glasses in place, non-perishables on platters — as much as possible, have it all in place. If you are picking up food, get going.

Check the area where you'll be watching. Clean the screen if necessary, move non-essential furniture and "stuff" out of the area and bring in extra seating from elsewhere if needed. Put out snacks.

If you are feeling ahead of the game prep-wise, these two lists are good ones to double check to make sure all your bases are covered.

30 MINUTES BEFORE THE GUESTS ARRIVE:

Ok, whew. You made it. Have a drink, get ready for some fun and may the best (aka, your favorite) team win!

(Image credits: Shutterstock)