Top 5 Hosting Tips for a Fulfilling Holiday

The holidays are here again, which means we all will be hosting family and friends. I know hosting can be super stressful and not everyones favorite thing, but today I wanted to share some of my favorite hosting tips!

Make It Simple

The first of my hosting tips is to make it simple. I know you have a Pinterest board filled with recipes you have been dying to try. But your 20 step braised chicken recipe will have to wait for another day. Make sure your menu is simple and easy. You don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, especially when your guests arrive.

  • Look for recipes you can make ahead of time and serve cold or heat up in minutes.
  • Avoid recipes that have a lot of last minute steps or garnishes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  • Don’t be above frozen food you heat up – they can be such a time saver.
  • Bite sized foods are perfect for guests, but don’t feel like you have to portion out small cups of salsa for each guest – a big bowl is fine.
  • Make a cooking timeline so it isn’t 2 minutes before guests arrive and have a sink full of dishes and 3 more appetizers to make.

 

Delegate

Chances are you guests want to help and don’t want to show up empty handed so give them a task. Ask them to bring a dish to pass, a bottle of wine or to make a killer playlist for the event. Don’t feel like you need to do it all yourself!

 

Set The Mood

Mood is everything and really sets the tone for the whole event. Avoid harsh overhead lighting and resort to lamps and natural light. Play a little background music. Visit our Chill Hosting Spotify playlist for music recommendations.

  • Create lots of cozy seating areas with pillows and blankets for people to have small and intimate conversations.
  • Don’t feel like you need to place a big circle of chairs in the living room for each guest so you can sit in a circle and sing kumbaya. People will naturally find their own conversations and someone to chat with.
  • Light a candle (or four) but try to avoid too many scented candles because you never know who is sensitive to smells.
  • Bonus hosting tip: if you have a fireplace, light that too!

 

Plan It Out

I would say this is the most important of my hosting tips for keeping you calm. The more you have a plan the more prepared you will feel thus enjoying the event more.

If you’re hosting a larger event I would make a week long schedule giving yourself small tasks to complete each day.

  • Monday – make a menu and shopping list
  • Tuesday – deep clean the whole house
  • Wednesday – delegate tasks to friends and family
  • Thursday – go shopping for all the event supplies
  • Friday – prep food & make Saturday schedule
  • Saturday – set up, finish food & beverage prep & spot clean

If you’re hosting a small event I would make a schedule for 2-3 days out.

  • Thursday – clean the house
  • Friday – shopping & food prep
  • Saturday – set up, finish food & beverage prep & spot clean

 

Breath Honey, Breath

One of the best hosting tips I’ve ever heard is “guests are only having as much fun as the host is.”

So if you’re running around clearing dishes, making angry eyes at your partner for not helping while trying to cook 1,000 things at once – you’re guests are going to feel your stress. Instead breath, grab a cocktail, clear a dish or two, visit with your guests and be chill.

When your guests see you relaxing and having a great time – they follow suit and do the same.

 

Looking for more hosting tips? Check out my Independence Berry Lemonade Cocktail recipe! Also, don’t forget to join our hostess gift basket giveaway over on the Stellaluna Events Instagram.

Brooke DePauw

Brooke is the owner of Stellaluna Events and a top Michigan wedding planner. She is a lover of celebrations by the water, with extensive experience with Lake Michigan and other lakeside weddings. Brooke believes in tossing away the trends and creating fulfilling experiences for her clients and their guests.

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