We just had a party for my son's birthday a couple weeks ago. We did a sandwich bar type buffet. A week before the party I cooked a turkey, ham and roast beef. I sliced them, arranged the slices and cooking juices in casserole dishes and froze them. They day before the party, I moved them to the fridge to thaw. They day of the party I put them in the oven on a low temp to warm up.
They day before the party I put togther a couple trays of toppings - lettuce, tomato, cheeses, etc. I bought various types of bakery rolls and condiments - mustards, horseradish, mayo, gravies, etc.
My mom made coleslaw, macaroni salad and fruit salad. I made glazed carrots.
It really wasn't hard to pull together and since most of it can be done ahead of time I was able to enjoy the party. I try to save time by buying bagged coleslaw, pre-cut carrots, etc. I also bought an electric carving knife - one of my favorite gadgets! The sandwich bar was a hit. Everyone liked the variety. Enjoy your son's birthday!