I have wanted to host a Seder for several years. It has not been since the first one I hosted, close to 8 or 9 years ago, that I pulled out my recipes and "What to do when you're dating a Jew" manual that my sister gave me when I got married. I have to say, I make an extremely mean brisket, being the shiksah that I am, and there's rarely leftovers if I make it for a dinner party. The food was a success. I had been preparing it since Wednesday; researching recipes, making the broth for the matzo ball soup from scratch, making the matzo balls, running to the market 4 times in a week, back out for shmaltz to make the chopped chicken liver (which my hubs mastered, by the way). I have been dairy free for 3 weeks and I was happy to prepare a completely dairy free meal although I did have 2 hunks of cheese out since it was the day after Passover and we don't keep a kosher household. Next year we'll be more strict to the traditions.
It is a lot of work but if you spread it out its fun and inspiring. It gives you something to look forward to and your not as stressed. That's if you like puttering around the kitchen for an hour or 2 a night or all day for that matter. People ask me why I don't cater or be a chef for god's sake, and they used to ask me why I didn't do that instead of acting which really bummed me out at the time (aren't I a good actor?) but the truth is is just not as darn enjoyable when you have requests, orders, time constraints, limitation, etc. I love to take my time researching what I want to cook and what I want to experiment with. Catering is just stressful. When its a demand then the joy is lost. This way I can take my time, and if the house isn't perfect but there's great food and music and cool people to talk to then what's better, I ask?