Have a great home to share with family and friends? Want to make your guests feel welcome, comfortable, and taken care of from the moment they enter your front door? Then start planning now for holiday entertaining! Getting your house ready is an exciting process. It can also be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. Here are some helpful tips to help you get started:
1) Be honest about what you can commit to
It’s easy to say “Sure, I’ll host Thanksgiving dinner with no problem!” but that doesn’t always pan out in reality. Maybe it will work this year, but as life goes on there may come a time when it just won’t fit into your schedule anymore. And that’s okay! Also, coordinate with other friends and family about what they can bring to the party to lighten your load.
2) Think about your guests
It’s all well and good to get excited about hosting the holiday get-togethers, but don’t forget that it’s not just about you! You want your guests to be comfortable and enjoy themselves while they’re with you. Make sure there are designated spots for them to put their coats, enough seating if people will be sitting in a group rather than buffet style, a table large enough for everyone’s plates and glasses, etc. Don’t expect your friends and family to stand around balancing a plate on their knees or hold a glass in one hand while trying to grab food with the other! Furniture that serve multiple purposes, like an ottoman which can serve as additional seating or a table, is a perfect example.
3) Create a fun, festive atmosphere
Nothing helps a fun, festive atmosphere better than holiday decorations. If decking your halls seems too daunting while trying to plan the rest of party, consider scaling back and doing a festive table scape. You also should think about having music playing softly in the background to enhance the festivities.
4) Plan your meal
Knowing what you want to eat will dictate how you want to serve. A family style where the food is all on the table can create a more intimate atmosphere but can be cramped with everyone’s table setting plus the food. A buffet style allows for more room on the table enable people to feel freer, but people will have to continually leave the table to get more food. Typically with a buffet style you can accommodate more food and more people around the table.
5) Make sure you have enough space to move around.
Are people going to need extra room for dancing after dinner, or will they be lounging on the couch and watching TV? Will everyone fit in the living room for a group game after dessert…or is there a separate table where your board games can go? Make sure you know where all your furniture needs to go before it’s time for company! It makes cleaning much less stressful if you know exactly what has to be done before guests arrive.
6) Make sure your bathroom is ready
There is nothing worse than a guest running out of toilet paper while in the bathroom. Make sure there is a stock close at hand. It can be helpful to provide a small sign letting people know where they can find extra rolls. Make sure your hand soap is stocked and you have extra on hand. Also, a great tip is to have some Poo~Pourri for guest to use when needed. Make sure you check your bathrooms every so often to make sure everything is tidy, there is enough toilet paper, and to change out your drying towel.
7) Relax and enjoy yourself!
Even if you forget a few things, the important thing is that your guests will be having fun and spending time together. This is one of those times when it’s okay not to do everything perfectly (and even encouraged!). You’ll get better at hosting events as you continue, but for now, just take it easy and enjoy yourself!