Hosting for the Holidays? 8 Tips to Be the Host with the Most!
Holidays can be filled with tons of joy and excitement AND be filled with stress and overwhelm.
As kids, we just did what our parents said, and we embraced the magic of the season, without any idea that our parents were the ones creating the magic for us!
And let’s face it, not much has changed. If you’re a parent, you have that added pressure to make the holiday season magical for your children, so that they enjoy the season to the fullest, but that doesn’t mean you should give up the magic for yourself, even while hosting house guests for several days!
Here are my top tips for creating ease for you as a host for out-of-town family and friends this holiday season!
#1 Make Meals in Big Batches:
Think soups, stews, chilies, and braises that can feed all the extras and are easy to put together. Serve with a baguette or a salad and take advantage of those salad kits at the grocery store! Now is not the time for perfection with your food intake or to impress your family with your mad kitchen skills…you don’t have time for that! 🙂
- Braised Beef Chipotle Chili
- Winter Vegetable and Chicken Noodle Soup
- Turkey Chili
- Braised Short Ribs and Potatoes
- Southwestern Butternut Squash Stew
#2 Keep Snacks Abundant! Especially if there are Children!
Think…Fresh Apples, Oranges (such as the Cuties Mandarin oranges), Cheeses (like the presliced blocks or string cheese), and snack mixes like Chex Mix and trail mixes
#3 People love Sweets: Keep some on the countertops.
This is where you get to have others eat up those tins of cookies you got from your boss or the weird holiday sweets that your neighbor brought you!
#4 Keep your guests hydrated.
You’ll thank me later, especially if Aunt Marge is known for drinking too many glasses of wine! Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge with some sliced citrus, buy your favorite fizzy waters to keep cold, and have tea or lemonade on hand!
#5 Don’t Forget About Lunch!
Make it easy: Have deli meats or shredded chicken and cheeses in the fridge with all the condiments and lunch sides like pre-cut carrots, celery, bananas, peanut butter, and anything salty or crunchy they may like, and keeps you from being a short-order cook!
#6 Send an Itinerary to your Guests ahead of time!
Having family around that normally is not in your house can feel daunting. You also have to keep up with your own family’s needs and desires. Like, do your children have appointments, a recital, or other events? Are you obligated to host your family, but also have a holiday party for your job? This is your chance to allow them to decide what to do during that time…and make suggestions for their entertainment. Also, let them know when they are included in extra activities and what to wear, so no one is left feeling like they are not welcome! Also in that itinerary include when they are welcome to arrive and when they should be departing! You don’t want someone thinking it’s an unending invitation!
#7 For the Big Holiday Event – Invite Your Guests to Participate in the Preparation!
Whether you want them to set the table, help prepare a dish or two, go shopping, or help wrap gifts…you can’t do this alone, so make it fun and get them involved! Delegate the duties so the day is magical for everyone including YOU!
#8 Make it all Accessible!
From making it easy to find the food they are welcome to eat in the fridge or countertops, having towels and bedding ready for them, or letting them in on the schedule…it’s all about making your guests feel welcome and wanted and involved! Nobody wants to come to stay a few nights to celebrate a holiday and not feel welcome. Make it easy for them, but you don’t have to go above and beyond either! No need to put chocolates on the pillow or fold the wash clothes into elephants, simple, is best as long as they know what to expect!
Now, go, and enjoy your holiday season! It’s time to make it magical for everyone without compromising the magic for yourself!