10 Thoughtful Ways to Up Your Hosting Game
Ready to be the host with the most? Impress your in-laws and dazzle your dearest friends with our tips for totally slaying hosting this holiday season.
Hosting the big holiday dinner this year? No need to fear! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a certified newbie, we're here to help you kick your hosting skills up a notch. Simply follow our advice, and you'll be reveling in your well-deserved host gifts in no time.
Set the Table in Advance
A good host has the table set before a single guest walks through the door. This not only frees the host up to mingle and make guests feel welcome, but it also communicates a sense of welcome and preparedness to the guest. The last thing your guest should feel is the need to help you entertain.
Opt for Cloth Napkins
A seasoned host knows that paper napkins are not only wasteful, but they also simply don’t cut it. When serving deliciously messy things such as gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, your guests really need cloth napkins at the ready.
Assign Seats for Guests
Don’t let your guests choose their own seats. Not only can this be awkward for your guests, but it can also hinder dinner conversation. Seat your guests using place cards with their names on them and pick spots that will encourage conversation that everyone can be involved in.
Designate a Spot for Coats and Purses
If your guest has to ask where to put their coat or purse, you’ve done something wrong. Make sure you’ve made room on a coat rack or wall hook for your guests to use and let them know it’s open for them. If you have a small space, allow guests to place their coats on a chair, bed or sofa.
Always Prepare Drinks Beforehand
Nothing is more welcoming than being offered a drink as soon as you arrive. Have all your drinks ready to go and help your guests avoid the dreaded what-do-I-do-with-my-hands feeling. We recommend preparing a big-batch punch or cocktail that will last all evening and keep you free to do other things.
Have Appetizers Ready
Instead of making your guests hungrily wait for dinner, create a conversation piece with appetizers. Pile a charcuterie board high with cheeses, meats, nuts and fruits and your guests are sure to be impressed and appreciative.
Anticipate Guests Needs With a Comfort Station
We’ve all been there. You’re at a dinner party and suddenly you have a stain on your shirt, a cut or maybe just a need that is embarrassing to bring up. Make your guests feel comfortable and at home by setting up a comfort station. We recommend visibly stocking your bathroom with a stain stick, bandages, hand cream, deodorant, antacid, dental floss, dry shampoo, aspirin, mints and potty spray. After all, a good host anticipates their guests’ needs and meets them before they even arrive.
Serve Coffee and Tea After Dinner
You know the warm and cozy feeling of an after-dinner coffee or tea? If you don’t, you’re absolutely missing out. Nothing pairs better with dessert than a nice warm drink. Fresh coffee, tea or even cider are sure to make your guests feel warm and welcome.
Have Gifts on Hand for Unexpected Guests
If you’re exchanging gifts at your gathering, be sure to have a couple gifts on hand for unexpected guests. You can buy an inexpensive, crowd-pleasing item such as a candle, or regift items you just can’t find a use for. Go ahead and wrap the gift beforehand and leave the tag blank to be filled in later.
Create a To-Go Station for Leftovers
Avoid the miserable tossing out of all the leftover food by not allowing your guests to leave empty-handed. Create a packing station with to-go containers at the ready and encourage guests to take whatever they want.