The 12 Holiday Guests You'll Encounter + How to Prepare for Them

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

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They Come With a Clan of Kids

Gone are the days of clinking champagne coupes and swinging from the chandelier in reindeer antlers and tacky Christmas sweaters. Your friends have decided to reproduce, and as a result, there are kiddos crashing the annual holiday shindig. Solution? A well-stocked, Christmas-themed coloring corner for the kids. For the adults? A well-stocked, Christmas-themed bar cart corner. 

Pet Fête

Some besties brings their babies and some pals pack their pets. Prepare for the pooches and all of their darling dander with some old-fashioned hooch and a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner. Air diffusors, stove-top scents and strong candles will keep your space smelling fresh, while baking soda works wonders on any fabrics your furry guests come in contact with. 

All Fun + Games (Until They Overstay)

Concerned your guests are literally squatting in your living room? Fear not, friends. Lure them from your couch by telling them your Wi-Fi has mysteriously stopped working (read: your trusty internet provider temporarily turned it off). Even more devastating? Your wine supply is officially depleted (i.e. hidden under your bed). No internet, no booze—that's no bueno. They'll be out the door before you even get the chance to wish them a Happy New Year. 

Too Much of a Good Thing

That one friend who always seems to over-booze it is making an appearance at your holiday party. Save them from themselves at this year's get-together. Our solution? Load their plate high with irresistable (carb-heavy) snacks to soak up all the liquid fun. 

The Controversial Conversationalists

Religion, money, politics—you're entertaining a friend who has big, controversial opinions that they can't wait to share with the rest of your guests. Play mediator and diffuse any debates before they begin. Hand-letter an elegant, though ever-so-slightly passive aggressive "Party Rules" list.

Rule #1: No Political Talk.

Rule #2: No Religion Talk.

Rule #3 No Money Talk. (Unless inquiring how to make a holiday donation to the party host, in which case, carry on.)

Couch Crashers

Any holiday host is sure to come across a couch-crasher or two. A sure-fire way to take back your living room this holiday season is by hosting a party during the middle of the day. A boozy holiday brunch will bring an equal amount of holiday cheer without running the risk for the dreaded impromptu sleepover.

Four Times the Fun

There's nothing quite as fun as preparing for an intimate holiday dinner that somehow multiplies and becomes a raging party of 40+ guests. Bar cart not exactly prepared for this kind of crowd? No biggie, there is power in numbers. More guests equates to more bottles of gifted-Grigio for the host. Make use of these thoughtful tokens to keep your unexpected guests' glasses full throughout the evening.

The New Love Interest

Baby brother is all grown up and is bringing his new girlfriend to your annual holiday get-together. Ensure anyone daring enough to date into your family feels as comfortable as possible in your home. We recommend asking your relative about their S.O.'s food and wine preferences well in advance and do your best to plan accordingly. Another fool-proof tip? Bust out that stash of embarrassing photos (or better, videos) that you've been saving for a special occasion. Your relative might resent this bonding technique, but the laughs shared will be well worth it. 

Sticky Fingers + Snoopers

Though they are few and far between, when hosting a holiday soiree, it is always best to be proactive and prepare your home for the occasional Snoopy-Sally and Sticky-Finger Saul. Start by stashing private or valuable belongings under lock and key. From there, designate guest-friendly areas with glitzy decorations, snack spreads and mistletoe galore.

Health-Crazed Holidays

Be courteous of health-conscious guests when preparing your holiday party spread. Hummus and fresh veggie trays will be appreciated, but the ultimate guilt-free party pleaser? Vodka. Pair it with a cranberry seltzer water and serve over ice for a seasonal spritzer. Works like a charm, every time.

Nagging, Negative Nancy

We all have that special someone in our lives who gifts us with negative and/or nagging comments in reference to our cooking abilities and general life choices. Whether it be your mother-in-law or grumpy Aunt Barbara, keep them tight lipped this year. Impossible? Nay! Serve them with a spiked treat so sweet, they'll be sipping and sugarcoating their thoughts all evening long.

The Mixed Bag of Nuts

Planning a party for your favorite folks is a challenge, especially if they come from a couple of different crowds. We've all been there, but a night with your coworker and your crazy cousin Cassie doesn't have to be as painful as you might think. Instead of bracing for the awkward pleasantries and clustered, clique-y corners, opt for a night of old-fashioned fun. Cocktails help, but board games and a competative card table are guaranteed to bring your mismatched posse together for a night that is both holly jolly and pain-free.

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