It’s no secret that the I love to host. We often have dinner parties, football viewing parties, holiday gatherings and afternoon barbecues with friends. It’s also no secret that the holidays can be stressful for many of us, especially if you’re hosting friends and family for a gathering. Here are a few simple hosting tips to help you maintain a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season when you’re opening up your home.
Prepare ahead of time. Getting organized and making a solid “to do” list is critical with any party, especially during the holiday season when we are all stretched for time. I like to make sure that I know when everything is happening so I can minimize the surprises. If you’re doing all of the cooking yourself, opt to make a few dishes that can be done the day before (like pies). Or, at minimum, have all of the food prep done the day before. The less you have to do on the actual day of your event, the better!
Hire out help. Have a cleaning service come the day before your party. Maybe even have them come back the day after. If you’re hosting for more than 10 people, consider hiring a caterer and/or bartender to lessen the amount of work you have to do. Whatever area of hosting brings you stress, think of hiring help in that category. The positives outweigh the negatives when it means that you – and your guests – will have a better time.
Keep it simple. Often times people get so stressed out with hosting because they’re trying to do too much. There’s no need to have a huge spread of food or an entire open bar if that’s too much work for you. You could host a “festive brunch” or “dessert & cocktails” if you want ideas for a more targeted party. Whatever you decide, don’t over complicate your event so much that it stresses you out. As with many things, the saying holds true: less is more.
Enjoy yourself. This should go without saying but you want to make sure that you are having fun yourself! Grab a glass of wine, have a few bites of food and soak up this special time of year. All of your guests will feel at ease if you are relaxed so do whatever it takes to make sure your energy is positive and chill.
There is nothing tackier than showing up to someone’s home empty handed, especially during the holiday season. These gifts are in various price ranges, depending how much you want to spend and how long you’ll be at their home. Many are also portable which is great for those of you (like myself) who will be traveling during the holiday season.
- My “go-to” gift is this classic volcano candle which is the best smelling candle and is so pretty. It’s also small enough to fit in any carry-on suitcase which makes for an easy gift if you are staying at someone’s home for the holidays.
- A pretty packaged box of bath bombs is a really nice gift for any host and for any occasion. Your host will have likely spent hours cooking and cleaning the home so it is a nice gesture to reward them with some self-pampering!
- This combination of hand soap + lotion in a beautiful tray is an easy and practical gift for a hostess. Useful in any bathroom or kitchen, people love to receive gifts like this that they wouldn’t typically pay for on their own.
- Anyone who hosts probably enjoys hosting accessories like cloth napkins, paper beverage napkins and hand towels. Bonus points if you get the towels monogrammed or bring a holiday patterned set!
- If your host likes a cup of Joe, how about bringing a classic French press coffee maker along with some fresh grounds of your favorite coffee. This is a thoughtful gift that you both can enjoy together.
- This combination of a slate cheese board and cheese marker set is such a cute and practical gift for your hostess! Let’s be honest – every host loves to serve cheese and every guest loves to eat it! Help your host out by gifting them with this stylish set!
- A wooden cutting board is such a great hostess gift as it is versatile, practical and fits perfectly with every home style so it’s a guaranteed win.
- Everyone loves to feel warm and cozy during the holiday season when temps are lower. Bring your host a nice pair of faux fur slippers so you guys can lounge together.
- When in doubt, bring a homemade basket filled with your favorite olive oils, nuts, crackers, chocolate treats, wine, etc. It’s thoughtful and delicious! Here’s a pre-made basket if time or delivery is a challenge.