Monday, December 16, 2019

6 Holiday Hosting Tips

Are you hosting friends and family at your house this holiday season?

I've hosted a random mix of things this month and wanted to share some holiday hosting tips with you today.

1. Make your menu easy and delicious
Take a tip from Ina Garten and do a mix of homemade + store bought foods to make your life easier.  You don't want to be stressing about making all the food instead of entertaining.  I hosted an appetizer lunch this weekend. 

I made my Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Smokies, chopped up veggies and made a really quick cheese tray and then picked up mini tacos, Bagel Bites and chips and salsa for lunch.  I also opted to make Christmas Blondies and Christmas Rice Krispie Treats.  I only made a 9x9 pan of them instead of a 9x13 pan to save time. 

The menu was so fun and quick to prep!!  That blondie recipe is from 2013 and it was so good!  I forget to make them in my regular rotation of desserts.  That's got to change!  They tasted just like a yummy cookie, but were much less work to do them in bar form.

These mini tacos were about $7 from Sams.  I'd recommend them with lots of yummy dipping options.  They are pretty mild and are best with salsa, sour cream, guacamole or a cheese dip.  They are really easy to heat up in the oven and eat as a finger food.

2. Stock your bathrooms with extra toilet paper, clean hand towels and do a quick clean

3. Set up stations for your food
Drink station, dessert station and main meal station.  That will help things flow easily through you kitchen.  I used a lot of what I had on hand - mason jar cups, picked out Christmas paper products from my stash and used some favorite Christmas table cloths to make everything look festive.

Drink Station:

Dessert Station:

Main Menu Station:

4. Delegate
I'll be the first one to acknowledge that I am not great at asking for help, but I'm trying to get better. 

I remember feeling frustrated in the past when my husband wouldn't read my mind about chores that needed to be done before hosting.  It felt like I had to do everything.  This time I told him 4 specific things I needed his help with - vacuuming, managing pet hair on the furniture with rolly brushes, watering the Christmas tree and taking out the trash from all the trash cans.  He was happy to help and it really did lighten my work load.  I also gave the kids specific tasks to take care of before our guests arrived.

5. Be aware of any allergies (pet and food) and buy local specialty things to share with your guests.  
For example, When I host certain friends I know that one is allergic to cats.  I always clean, vacuum and put the cats away for her visits.

Kevin and our friends really enjoy local craft beer.  He swung by a local brewery to get some local beer to enjoy during their visit.  Our friend does the same when we visit them.  I always try to have lemonade for my friend or make a favorite food for them.

6. Snap a few pictures
I always love having pictures with friends, pictures of spreads of food and pictures in general.  I try to snap food pictures before guests arrive or at the very beginning.  Then I make a point to take a picture of the kids or the friends before they go.  I'll text them out after the party.  Everyone seems to appreciate a quick snapshot vs taking pictures throughout the whole party.

 Sarah and I have been friends since high school.  It's so fun to get together with our own kids!

And we have matching Christmas baby bumps this year!!  It's so fun to be at the same stage of life as your friends.

What are your holiday hosting tips??

1 comment:

  1. This was such a good blog post for me to read as I am hosting two of our priests over for dinner this Friday and then having my brother and his family over for Christmas dinner next week. I am totally on board with the idea of mixing homemade foods and getting some help with either catering or store-bought foods. We are the same person… I always make sure my half-bath is fresh and clean for my guests. And yes to being specific about everyone helping out with a job so you do not have to do everything! You are definitely the hostess with the mostess friend!!


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