How to be the Host with the Most
The holidays are all about spending time with loved ones, basking in old memories while making new ones, showing our love and appreciation through some gift-giving, and enjoying the season. It's not a year-round occurrence that you get to decorate (in reality, you can do anything you want year-round). Make the most of it and go all out!
But the holidays aren't just for decorating; sometimes, we have the responsibility of hosting. For those with a gift exchange, dinner party, movie night, or any occasion to host, we have some tips for creating an event that everyone will enjoy.
Give your Guests a Warm Welcome
You only have one shot at a first impression, so make it a good one. Make your entryway a portal to a Christmas Wonderland, where your guests can feel the cheer take over as they gush over your decorations, the time and love that must've gone into making this gorgeous scene.
Have a Little Treat Waiting for Them
Your guests are bound to arrive at different times. Some like to get there early and scope the vibe, while others like to make a fashionably late entrance. It's always nice to have something waiting for them; you never know how hungry they might be (and they might be too shy to ask for something before dinner.) Set up a charcuterie board, or finger foods, maybe a snack station, or have them sprawled around for easy access.
Have Ample Seating Options
Having enough places for all your guests is a must, but having just a couple of extra places saves you from having to go dig the foldable chairs out of the garage. And it feels horrible to be the one waiting for a chair! Have enough places at the dinner table and for your guests to lounge before dinner is served. If your event is a movie night, snuggling up is cozy, but not everyone likes to be so up and personal with others.
Bonus: If you're hosting an outdoor experience, and the weather actually feels like winter, you might want to have some blankets for your underdressed guests. I know I've been to many Christmas and New Year's get-togethers where I put my outfit before comfort, and a blanket saved me!
Delight all the Senses
Having passed the entrance, before you even open the door, the first thing your guests will notice (hopefully) is the smell. Make your home smell like Christmas by having some cookies in the oven (you also get some dessert!), burning a candle, or having a festive simmer pot.
Decorating is a must! You don't have to be a maximalist about it; you can go as simple or as extravagant as you want. It's your home; you're the one who's going to be looking at it all the time. It's always fun to create an environment that is not what you see every day. We become so accustomed to our homes, decking them out for the holidays is such a fun way to spruce up your space, even if it's temporary. Bonus: if you don't have a fireplace, you can fake it on your TV; just search it on YouTube and you're good to go.
The last step to creating the perfect environment is music. Create a playlist with all your favorite Christmas songs. You can even personalize it by having your guests make requests. Make it a sing-along! If you have a piano and someone who knows how to play it, have everyone gather around and sing.
Set the Table
After spending so much time on your Christmas feast, you don't feel like you're sitting down to a regular dinner. Make your table reflect the special occasion it is! It doesn't have to be anything extra or fancy, maybe some pine centerpieces or colored napkins. Whip out the nice plates and glasses.
Best to have Leftovers
It's not good to be wasteful, but it's best to be well-prepared. So besides having more than enough food- some people like to have seconds or thirds, so don't just plan on one helping per person- you should also have containers for whoever wants some to take home.
Cheer in a Cup
There are so many cocktail and mocktail recipes for you to experiment with! You can find anything you're looking for and more on Pinterest.
Satisfy the Sweet Tooth
The best way to wrap up any meal, and my favorite part, is the dessert. It could be sweet like sugar cookies, fudge, or cupcakes, or salty like pretzel turtles or brittle. You can have fun making your treats by having a family bake day with the kids.
’Tis the Season
To finish a wonderful night, you might want to give your guests a little token of appreciation for their friendship, company, or maybe simply celebrating the holiday season with you. Gift some handmade cookies or scented candles to keep the holiday cheer long after the season has passed. I'm a sucker for handmade gifts; they really show how much care and love you put into them. If you're doing little goodie bags, you can even involve the kids and have them help you like little elves. All you need to get Santa's workshop going is a little Christmas spirit!
We all have ways to make our holidays and gatherings unique; share with us your favorite part of the holidays in the comments.