SGO Sunday: 5 tips for ho-ho-hosting this holiday season!
Christmas is just around the corner and I cannot believe it! Another year has come and almost gone, and in between the 21 weddings I've planned, days I've spent as a nanny for two beautiful blonde babies and hundreds of Snapchats I've taken of my sweet pup Bear Boy, I've thought about my favorite day of the year: Christmas Eve. The Freeman family does it big with about 30 guests for a fabulous steak dinner (thanks Mom, Dad & Uncle Terry!), jumbo Jenga and lots of delicious wine and Holiday Mules. And even though Christmas Eve does not technically take place at my house anymore since I've moved out of my parents' home, I still feel like I get to play Mrs. Claus and act like it's my party and I'll get super sappy and Christmas-cheery if I want to. I LOVE HOSTING. And why wouldn't I? I'm a special event planner, hel-lo!
If you're like me, between the excitement and anticipation of a big event in your own home, stress can creep in and ruin all the fun. Below are 5 quick tips to being the best host or hostess you can possibly be all the while enjoying the time you'll be sharing with friends and family under one roof.
1. Have as much done as possible before the day of the party. Do as much as you can days before. Don't try to grocery shop, prep, clean and decorate all in one day. Take it from me who has done that before due to a busy schedule and oh man, do I recommend against it. If you can do that and still stay sane, congratulations and I envy you.
A great tip that my boyfriend's mom told me once was that if you're running late and you absolutely must make a last minute trip to the store or wrap gifts as time is ticking away, make sure you are ready before guests arrive. Katie Wilson hosts us every Tuesday for family dinner and somehow always has a fabulous spread, dessert and tablescape no matter the occasion. She puts last touches on the meal while we hang out and chat in the kitchen with her, she's never in the bathroom blow-drying her hair or MIA when we get there. Your guests have come over to spend time with you, so don't be nowhere to be found when they arrive!
Photo cred: Bon Appetite Magazine
2. Know that you don't have to do it all: Ask for help when you need it (Mom to the rescue!) and know that it's okay to serve something store-bought to fill out the meal: an appetizer is a great place to do this. Or check out my blog post from last year with a recipe for the best-ever hummus dip that my friends and family always crave! To make it holiday-themed, serve it on a white plate leaving the center empty or a bundt pan to look like a wreath.
PC: Small Town Woman
3. Make it easy on yourself: Have close family bring Tupperware so they can take home leftovers. Choose your outfit beforehand and set it out, steam it as needed, etc. Clean the kitchen as you go. Wear an apron, even if you think they're lame. Prep the coffee machine so after dinner you can simply press "start" and get back to the great conversation you were having. Measure out ingredients needed beforehand. Easy peasy!
4. I'm about to get really real with you, but you'll thank me later: Light a candle in the bathroom and make sure air freshener is nearby. Don't make your guests panic and never want to leave the loo after using it. Also keep plenty of TP stocked in the bathroom!
5. Use the same chargers each year and premium plastic plates. Less clean up and no need to buy a bunch of nice plates for this one event! The Dollar Tree sells these chargers in silver and gold online and I've seen lots of my couples use them - they look nice, really!
Happy holidays, everyone! Feel free to post your hosting tips in the comments. I'd love to learn a few things from you!