This guide to being the best host was initially written during the pandemic. I was thrilled to be able to update this for 2023 under different circumstances! Enjoy, darling!
A Successful Guide to Being a Holiday Host
Believe it or not, the holidays are approaching. Thank goodness we can once again gather together with close family members or dear friends. For those of you who are unable to travel to family and are alone you might think about volunteering at a food kitchen or church. This will bring you feelings of purpose and goodwill, as well as having people to share this special time with.
My ultimate concierge and I are flying off to Boise, Idaho for the Thanksgiving holiday. Many family members are meeting there to celebrate. Aside from spending time with our family we am very excited to taste an Idaho potato in Idaho! Next year, I would love to celebrate Thanksgiving at our condo in the sky in Chicago. I love to entertain.
Hosting Can Be a Bit Scary!
From gathering with close family and friends to the possibility of housing a few out-of-towners, you may find yourself becoming overwhelmed, especially if this is your first time being a holiday host!
Whether you’re an old pro or this is your first go-around, there are some tips that can improve efficiency and ultimately relieve stress. The holidays are meant to be spent celebrating and enjoying time with the family, so it’s important to optimize your preparation to reflect that. Keep reading to learn more about how you can create a productive and efficient process for yourself this holiday season!
Declutter High Traffic Areas
Not only will this put your mind at ease as you prepare the entertaining area, but your guests will also feel more content in a clean space. It is essential for everyone to feel comfortable in your home. Keeping heavy traffic areas that also serve as shared spaces clean and tidy. This will create a more welcoming atmosphere. These include the living room, kitchen, and any entryways.
Since you’ll likely spend most of your time gathered in these spaces, it is very easy for them to become cluttered. It’s crucial to utilize the time in the months leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas to focus on cleaning these spaces. Leaving the areas messy and cluttered until right before guests arrive can cause more pressure on yourself. Use these tips to set a goal and create a plan. With a cleared and organized space, this will be so much easier to accomplish.
In addition, holidays often come with cooler weather, it’s likely people will enter your home wearing more layers. Keep this in mind when you begin your fall cleaning! Prioritize your entryway first, and clear out space to place items there in an orderly fashion. Remaining on top of these areas in the months leading up to your event will save you time and stress as the holidays approach.
Make Delivery Your Best Friend
Being as prepared as possible typically means pre-buying everything ahead of time. Write out your to-do lists and make sure you get everything you need before hosting. This can help to ensure that when the day comes, you can focus your attention on entertaining your guests.
However, what happens when you are in the middle of cooking, guests are arriving and you need more olive oil for your meal? In this case, looking for online services that offer same-day grocery delivery can serve as a great back-up plan. The ability to stay where you are instead of rushing to the store will relieve stress while hosting your loved ones. Whether it’s the whipped topping you need to finish off that pumpkin pie or rosemary for the mashed potatoes, knowing grocery delivery is there to save you in a pinch and allow you to unwind this holiday season.
Line-Up Some Entertainment
Sure, just being together is enough, but why not plan for some extra entertainment at your gathering? This is especially important if you plan to have any younger children attending as they can get bored pretty easily! Coming up with a few games for the whole family, or even just the adults (here are some adult party game ideas), is a perfect way to keep everyone occupied while you put the finishing touches on the meal! If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, there are quite a few thematic games you can consider.
Try a Thanksgiving Mad Lib where each player takes a turn calling out words until the entire sheet is filled. Incorporating family members’ names can make it festive and even more enjoyable. With a more Christmas-themed game, have the grandkids burn off their sugar high with a game of Santa Limbo. Just like the regular game of limbo but with a twist. Stuff pillows into your shirts and limbo-like Santa would and then try to sneak underneath the limbo pole! There are plenty of holiday party themed games to incorporate into any of your holiday celebrations this year. You never know, you might enjoy them so much they become a family tradition!
Never Refuse Help
As the host, it’s likely you’ll want to do it all. If someone offers to help, take them up on their offer! Things will go much smoother with assistance from everyone joining the celebration. Whether that be adding a dish to the spread or coming over earlier to help you organize the seating area. When someone offers to handle the appetizers or even one of the main plates, let them! This will ease your stress as well as your workload and allow you to focus on the cleaning and organizing of the main entertaining space.
It may feel like improper hosting etiquette to accept help, however, it will ultimately improve the overall experience of the event. Even if it is something as small as accepting help with cleaning up, you’d be surprised at how quick you can accomplish things with a few extra sets of hands.
Get Ahead On Your Holiday Planning
Getting a head start on your holiday planning is never a bad idea or waste of time. The more organized you are ahead of time, the better you’ll feel once the day of the event rolls around. Preparation is key and going into your event with some type of plan is crucial.
However, at the end of it all, you want to keep in mind what is important to you as well as the reason for the season! Be thankful you have the opportunity to spend time with everyone and have the chance to celebrate with those nearest and dearest to you. If some close family members are unable to join you, think about setting a time to Zoom and video chat with them so they can feel included!
Please comment below with your favorite way to prepare for the upcoming season! We want to hear from you.
If you enjoyed this story please subscribe. Sharing stories with your grandchild is a wonderful way to connect over the holidays. I wrote this book, Stories for My Grandchild: A Grandmother’s Journal, just for that purpose. And what better time to share memories and create new ones than when you’re gathered for this special time of the year. Click the image below to purchase my book!
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