Top 5 Tips for Holiday Hosting

November 15, 2019

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The holidays are such an exciting time, but if you’re hosting, you know it can be a lot of work. So today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips to get you ready for all of the holiday fun that’s coming our way.

Keep your home “guest-ready”

Yes, this is easier said than done. Especially in the fall and winter when there are muddy boots, layers of jackets and winter accessories, and more to account for. But being ready for a planned or impromptu get-together at your home is so much easier when your house is already relatively clean (P.S., check out our favorite ways to keep your home organized here!) Try to get into the habit of putting things away as you use them, sweeping the floors daily, keeping counters and sinks clear of clutter and dishes, and making the beds in the morning. That way, when it’s time to host, you’ll only have a quick round of cleaning to do rather than a full overhaul (ahem, throwing everything into nearby closets as quickly as possible, anyone?)

A mudroom is a great way to make sure everything has a place and stays organized!

Make sure to have versatile seating options

If you’re used to serving dinner only to your immediate family or the occasional small group of friends, you may feel ill-equipped to host a larger Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving or holiday party. The key is to multi-purpose the space you have in order to accommodate as many people as possible! Make sure you think through seating options in order to make sure everyone will have a place to sit. Having a few extra chairs on hand is never a bad idea if you plan to host, and utilize island space too!

Prep food in advance

If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party or major holiday before, you may know the common struggle of spending the entire time in the kitchen, prepping and cooking the meal, rather than socializing with friends and family – and that’s no fun! Plan ahead for a meal that you can make, or at least heavily prep, ahead of time (think sheet pan or Crock-Pot meals, casseroles, or a protein with a couple simple prep-ahead sides), so that you can enjoy the time with loved ones instead of hiding away in the kitchen the whole time!

If you’re currently designing, renovating or buying a home, consider this into your floor plans, too! Open concept kitchen areas are perfect for working on dinner while still being close to all the action.

Make your guest room welcoming

Making your guests feel comfortable and welcome in your home is so essential to hosting out-of-town guests. You can make simple updates to your guest room or spaces to make sure everyone feels right at home:

  • Splurge on nice bedding: you don’t have to go crazy, but soft sheets and a warm comforter go a long way in making guests feel comfortable
  • Provide clean towels and washcloths: avoid your guests having to ask, and leave clean towels folded and ready on the bed or in the guest bathroom
  • Add fresh flowers or greenery: even a small bouquet on the nightstand feels so welcoming and warm!
  • Think about the little “extras:” think about staying in a hotel, and how you appreciate the extras. Provide toiletries, the wi-fi password, even a new toothbrush or razor to make sure your guests have everything they need.

Create ambiance

If you’re hosting a gathering during the holiday season, chances are you’ve already incorporated some decor – but this piece is so essential! A gathering feels so much cozier when you include a few details to get everyone in the mood for a good time. A few ideas:

  • Start a fire in the fireplace, if you have one!
  • Light candles: make sure to consider the candle scent and choose one that’s seasonally appropriate!
  • Music: having soft music playing in the background makes everyone feel relaxed, and you’ll avoid awkward silences, too.
  • Decor: keep decor simple, but welcoming – think some seasonal decor, throw pillows and blankets on couches, and art pieces on walls.
  • Stick to a theme: it’s so fun to plan a party around a theme! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but pick a simple theme and design your menu, drinks, and decor around it (a custom drink station or signature cocktail is a great idea, too!)
  • Lighting: Keep lights low enough to create a warm atmosphere, but have enough lighting for people to be able to see each other! No one likes hanging out in a dark basement!
A fireplace is perfect for adding ambiance and you can set up extra seating nearby, too!

With a few preparations, you can be the host with the most all season long, with none of the stress! So, tell me: what are your essential must-dos when hosting a holiday gathering in your home? Do you like to host, or would you rather just attend? Make sure to hop over to our Instagram @AlmaHomes and tell us all about your holiday plans!

Photography: Laura Rae Photography, Spacecrafting Photography, Sarah Olfelt Photo, Alma Homes

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