It's easy to get ovewhelmed with all that has to be done when hosting holiday parties and dinners in the home. There is cleaning to be done, food that must be prepared, children who must be taught to help and not drag that toy out for the 10th time in the morning.
Make a list of all that needs to be completed before your big event! Then determine how many things you can do in a day without burning yourself out. For example, we clean the main areas of the house two or three days before our gathering. Then the day before or the day of the event can be dedicated to cooking and preparing food. It's unrealistic to think that if you clean the week before an event and you have little ones that the house will stay picked up for the full week!
If you create a manageable time frame, you will be less stressed and frustrated and more able to be ready for your guests. If you have older children, definitely have them pitch in. Working together and giving each children an area to work on teaches responsibility and allows them to take ownership of that area. They can also accept any compliments for its tidiness!