Tis the season for holiday hosting! Before you host your next get together this season, check out our tips for a hassel-free holiday and see how surprisingly simple it is to be the hostess with the mostess. Happy Holidays!
1. Consider your traffic flow.
While the kitchen may be the hub of the home, if you’re preparing the meal in close quarters, it may be beneficial to set up a drink or appetizer area outside of your work zone. You don’t want to be tripping over people or asking your guests to step aside in a crowded kitchen. You can reroute traffic with a set up as effortless as a tray of cocktails on a coffee table or as elaborate as a bar cart with goodies for your guests.
Another note on preparations in the kitchen, consider treating yourself to an anti-fatigue kitchen mat this holiday season. A gift for you, these resilient mats can help alleviate pressure from hours standing on your feet on hard surfaces. Most options are wipe off, so cleaning up any cooking mess is a breeze, and they are available in a variety of on-trend options for a stylish touch, like this neoprene version from Lowes!
2. Accept a little help.
Somewhere along the lines, the misconception was sold that hosting was the same as serving and a lot of us bought it! Chances are most of your guests will ask you what they can do to help and they’re not just being polite. Having someone cater to you can feel awkward and most of the time guests are more comfortable when the host allows them to help out a bit. Knowing a few easy to explain tasks ahead of time that your eager to help attendees can take off your plate will benefit you both!
3. Keep the menu familiar.
I love to peruse food blogs and have made the mistake of trying new “highly rated”, “quick” and “easy” recipes for the first time while hosing family and friends. Heed my advice: don’t do it. No matter how fabulous the recipe’s reviews read, save new dishes for days when you’re not in a hurry or trying to feed a house full of hungry guests. Fill your menu with familiar favorites that aren’t complicated to prepare that you know will turn out delicious. And while we’re talking food, don’t forget to ask your guests if anyone has food allergies in advance so you can adjust your menu to accommodate everyone (and avoid any unplanned ambulance arrivals)!
4. Outsource to fill in the gaps.
Just like it’s okay to accept help from your guests, it’s okay to accept a little help from your favorite bakery! It should go without saying that it’s a lot to singlehandedly prep an evening’s worth of food for your entire party. If ordering a cake from a store saves you a little sanity, then don’t hesitate. Delegate where you can and trust us, your dessert will still taste just as sweet!
5. Prioritize to save energy for what matters most.
It’s tempting to use your holiday hosting venture as an incentive to take on a procrastinated home improvement project or put perfectionist pressure on yourself, but doing so will most likely leave you too drained to enjoy the main event you’ve been preparing for! From your home’s cleanliness to the decorations to the food, try to conserve energy where you can by prioritizing. If it seems impossible to keep the house tidy while your family lives there, focus your efforts on maintaining only the areas seen by guests and let the more hidden areas of the house off the hook for the day. If you don’t have all your holiday decorations up yet, just decorate the areas where guests are most likely to gather. If the financial strain of the food you’ve chosen to prepare is stressing you out, downsize the menu, ask guests to do a potluck, or consider less expensive fare.
Have you discovered any holiday hosting hacks? We’d love to hear from you! Share with us in the comments.