So the word ‘host’ to me sounds a little stuffy, but it does not mean that you have to be stuffy while hosting a party, a dinner, overnight guests – whatever it may be. Odds are, you may be required to be the host of something this holiday season. I hosted Thanksgiving with friends and now Christmas with the boyfriend’s fam – two totally different gatherings – but I have started to find some tried and true tricks that work for me no matter what the occasion is. I may be going a Martha Stewart here, but I just hope it may help anyone who is the same boat as me! What are some of your hosting tips and tricks?
Always plan on extra – An extra hour to get ready before people show up, extra toilet paper so guests don’t have to ask, extra bottle(s) of wine (duh!). I have found that simply having a buffer saves from having to rush, having to run to the store, or having your guest feel like they drank too much! While on the topic of serving guests wine, I love this post on wine etiquette.
Make a good go-to party playlist – or simply find one on Spotify and have it playing before people show up. It may sound trivial, but have you been in a store or somewhere and it is completely silent? Having music in the background helps distract people from whatever last minute things you are trying to wrap up in the kitchen or where ever. Bonus, if guests get there early, you can always ask them to put on their favorite music so they feel a part of creating a great get together.
Pick one thing and do it well – So Pinterest is great for ideas for cooking, baking, or decorating, but honestly it can create totally unrealistic goals. I would love to have all the time in the world to create an amazing, totally themed get-together ala Martha Stewart, but it is just not happening. So I just focus on one thing, the signature cocktail, the main meal, or the epic dessert, instead of wearing myself thin. Most likely, your guests will be remembering the conversations, not the tablescape that you foraged from the woods.
Do as many things ahead of time – Okay, so I am really not a planner, way more of a procrastinator, but doing as much as you can in the days leading up to the event can help so much in your stress levels when you realize you have only an hour left to cook/clean – oh and put real clothes on. Go shopping a couple days before and wash, chop, prep any foods. Spend 15 minutes cleaning one part of the house each day leading up and your whole house will magically be clean when you guests come. Put out all of the drinkware and set up your bar ahead of time. All of these little things done ahead of time make the whole hosting thing that much easier.
In the end, don’t sweat the small stuff – You guests are here to see you, hang out with others, and have a great time, so don’t take it too seriously. Not everything has to be perfect. Nobody really cares if you burn the main course (as I have), just order pizza, it always tastes good – especially in good company. Some of the best memories often come from the unplanned. And finally, remember to have fun at your own party too!
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