The holidays are stressful, but if you are hosting them it’s even crazier! Check out Christina’s 3 tips for making the day more enjoyable for you and your guests.
Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week and Christmas is five weeks away? I always start out with the best intentions for planning far ahead. However with children, family schedules, and life, I find the Holidays inevitably sneak up on me.
Slight panic used to set in when I first started hosting, until I discovered the three main ways I needed to prepare. They make a HUGE difference in how I view the week before, how I enjoy the day, and hopefully how welcome my guests feel when they come. If you are hosting for the Holidays, here are three simple ways you can hone your hosting skills.
Comforts of Home
There are simple things you can do to make your guests feel welcome in your home. Making sure you have extra toiletries on hand, preparing the bedding ahead of time, and setting out towels for your guests will certainly help! Basket of toiletries – four words – take those hotel amenities. I am definitely not saying walk down the hallway and take amenities from everyone. Just take the ones that are in your room, or go to your travel section or dollar store and grab travel size amenities your guests may forget to pack. Place them in a bowl or a basket lined with linen or paper napkins and place in the bathroom. Voila! Place sets of towels in the area where guests are sleeping with a chocolate, bottle of water and a small piece of paper (literally cut a piece from a plain white sheet of paper), write the word “welcome” on it and put it with their towels. You could also place the towels in the guest bathroom instead and place the chocolate, bottle of water, and welcome sign where they will keep their luggage. Have their bedding and pillows all ready to go – either in the area they are going to sleep or where they will keep their personal belongings. Doing this not only helps you from scrambling around last minute getting everyone’s bedding in order, it provides a natural checklist for anything you might need for your guests when they come.
Prep Your Meals
I know with the Holidays there is so much to plan, but planning out breakfast, lunch and supper for the days your guests are visiting are a must to keep your sanity. It takes so much of the stress of meal-time away when you plan ahead. Plan easy meals around the slow cooker. You can get tried and true recipes from friends, family, and pinterest. Soups, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, breakfast bakes, and shredded meat for sandwiches are great for hosting company. Once the meals are planned, write a list of food items you will need. Buy as many ingredients as you can before hand. This past weekend I had a detailed list of things to get at the grocery store. Returned home only to find I had missed three items on my list – ugh! Allow time because a last minute trip to the grocery store is usually inevitable 😉 Go ahead and prep the ingredients if you can. Prepping your meals ahead of time equals minimal prep time while you are hosting. Less time in the kitchen means more time spent with your friends and family.
Make sure you are well stocked on paper products and extra snacks. – Paper products – plates, napkins, silverware and cups. Going to a large warehouse store to get things in bulk can save you money and at the same time again minimize your time in the kitchen. Use them as much as you can throughout the holidays. Put the plates, napkins, and silverware in a basket so they are all easy access for meal-time. – When hosting you never know when there will be a need for extra snacks, or beverages. There are two ways to handle all of the extras. You can ask everyone to provide their drinks and have coolers available to put them in or an area designated for storing the beverages, or you can stock up at your local store for beverages and/or snacks.
Congratulations! You are now on your way to improving your hosting skills! Providing amenities that bring comfort to your guests while minimizing your time in the kitchen will maximize your time with family and friends. It will remove some of the stress and give you confidence.
Enjoy your full house!