The holiday season is right around the corner! While things may look a little different this year, we could all use a brush-up on holiday hosting tips. If you are preparing for a small, safe gathering of family or friends, here are seven tips to help you master the winter holidays this year.
The most important thing any host can do to make it through a holiday dinner is to prepare as many dishes in advance as possible. Whether it be ready-to-bake cookies, freezable soups, or preparing your main dish the night before, you will be very thankful you did the work ahead of time.
If you’re hosting a virtual gathering, plan a menu of favorite recipes ahead of time so that everyone can enjoy the same feast. Include photos or links in a document that everyone can access and create a group text to share tips as you cook through the dishes.
Additionally, don’t forget to cook what you know. Impressing your guests is often top of mind, but trying to make Beef Wellington for the first time when you are cooking for a party of 10 may not be the recipe for a successful holiday dinner. Instead, stick with recipes you know you can make well and save the experimenting for another time.
Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry
Buy food that your house guests can help themselves to, such as late-night snacks. Keep in mind that you don’t have to make everything (or anything) from scratch. Breakfast can be as simple as some granola, jams, and a quality loaf of bread. If you want to do a little something extra, create a spread on a table so your guests can easily find everything they need easily and help themselves.
This goes for beverages, too. Keep your refrigerator stocked with bottled water, juice, seltzer, or soda. Make a pot of coffee in the morning so people can pour their own when they wake up. If you are in the mood to bake, scones or muffins are perfect because you can make them in advance, and they can sit out at room temperature.
Have Sanitary Products & Masks on Hand
The same principle goes for sanitary products and masks this year. Pick up sanitary wipes, hand soap, masks and other cleaning products ahead of time so that you’re able to gather safely. Governor Sisolak recently mandated that no more than two households may gather in one home and masks must be worn at all times. No more than 10 people are allowed per household. If you’re going to gather, make sure to do it safely to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to friends and family members.
Prepare the Guest Room
If you’re hosting guests from out of town, be sure to prepare a room before their arrival. Leave a few essentials in their room like clean towels, a hairdryer, an alarm clock, and basic toiletries. If you don’t have a designated guest room, try to make the “room” feel as welcoming as possible. Whether it’s a sofa in the living room or an air mattress in the office, dress it up like a real bed. Create a “nightstand” for them — this can be as simple as a bookshelf or a cleared-off table. Set out an eye mask or earplugs if your guest is sleeping in a common area. Additionally, don’t forget to free up some closet space for them to stash their things. If you are tight on closet space, set out a foldable valet stand and an empty basket for dirty laundry.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As much as we would like to believe that we can do it all, everyone needs a little help now and then. Ask a friend to vacuum or set up glasses at the bar. If you are preparing a large meal, ask a family member to help people hang up their coats or find a drink when they arrive so that you can attend to the food in the kitchen.
Preparing for the holidays while making sure to keep everything safe and sanitary is not easy! Everyone understands this year how important it is to help one another out, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Tidy Up the Kitchen
Every kitchen gets extra use during the holidays, especially when you are hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah celebrations. Keep an orderly kitchen by organizing and decluttering before guests arrive. Store nonessential items in the cabinets. Pre-wrap cutlery in napkins and store them in a basket on the countertop so people can quickly grab a set when dinner is served. You will also want to stock up on plenty of napkins, plates, and cups so that you don’t run out that day.
Save the Dishes for Later
There is nothing wrong with leaving the dishes for later. After all, post-dinner mingling is often the best part of a party. So, go grab one last cocktail and socialize with your guests. Once things start to wrap up for the evening, you can use the dishes as an excuse to get visitors who are overstaying their welcome to leave for the night.
The holiday season can feel a bit overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be! With a few holiday hosting tips, you can spend more time focusing on what really matters: spreading holiday cheer and spending time with loved ones. Are you looking for a new home where you can host the perfect holiday meal? Explore Inspirada’s move-in ready homes to help you find your dream home today!