The holidays are a great time of the year when gatherings between family and friends are highly are inevitable. However, hosting these functions can be as stressful time for many – both in terms of preparation and money. There's no need to worry as there are many ways to feel good about hosting that aren't so expensive. Here are some tips that will have you more than ready for your guests!
Cook Ahead of Time
A great way to save time and reduce stress when hosting a gathering is to cook meals beforehand. Cooking as many dishes before the gathering can ensure that you do not have to spend the time and energy doing this later on. Foods like soups, cookies, and casseroles can easily be made in advance and will taste great!
There are many dishes that can be cooked ahead of time. You can freeze different foods and cook them far in advance, or just make them a couple of days before the gathering. This is a time-saving tip that will greatly reduce your stress levels later. Cooking ahead of time makes you flexible and can greatly improve your enjoyment of the party.
Buy Food Beforehand
Make sure the pantry is fully stocked before guests come so that you do not have to make any last-minute trips to the store. Having snacks, drinks, and produce on hand can ensure that guests are never hungry, and you will not have to worry about how you will feed everyone or when you will have time to get more food.
Grocery stores are often very crowded during the holidays and having to leave the house--especially when guests are present--can increase your stress and take a lot of time out of your day.
Create a Welcome Note
You can write out instructions for your guests with important details such as where to find towels, the Wi-Fi password, and suggested activities. This means that your guests will feel cared for as well as reduce the time that you will have to spend helping them find all of this information, as it is all prepared before they arrive.
Make a “Do it Yourself” Guest Room if You Do Not Have One
If you do not have a guest room in your house, before the gathering, you can make one yourself! You can dress up an air mattress, so it looks like a comfortable bed; add a nightstand, get an eye mask and ear plugs, and even add a folding screen to give the guests an added sense of privacy.
This is going the extra mile for your guests, and they will be sure to appreciate it. Taking the time to make this guest room before guests arrive will show them how much you care and how important their presence is to you.
Free Up Closet Space
Having closet space available to your guests makes them feel welcome and at home. This is especially useful if you do not have a guest room, and it is going the extra step to make sure that your visitor is taken care of.
If you do not have any additional closet space to spare, you can get a small valet stand for guests to store their things. This gesture will make your guests feel extra welcome, and it's a kind thing to do that they will be sure to remember.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
Getting flowers, candles, and drinking water is a great way to show your guests some hospitality. Little things make a huge difference and will help spread the holiday cheer. It means a lot to put in the extra effort, especially during the holidays, and you will see the difference in the way your guests feel.
Tiny things like name tags and notes will really make your guests happy, and it requires minimal time, effort, and money. Forgetting the little things will only increase the stress of the bigger things, so it's important to pay attention to those details.
Get Cloth Napkins and Formal Plates
While there's nothing wrong with using paper plates and napkins--can you say easy clean up!--consider making the extra effort to put out your nice napkins and dishware. A little sparkle on the table will make the holiday celebration feel a little brighter while adding some style to impress your guests.
Some nice dishware goes a long way!
Make Sure Your House is Comfortable
Getting soft pillows, blankets, and other comfortable furnishings out will ensure that your guests are going to stay comfy. Your guests' cozy sleeping arrangements will leave them refreshed and ready to go for whatever your celebration includes. Comfortable seating options will also make sure that when your friends and family are gathered, everyone is happy and at ease.
Declutter Your House
Before your guests come, it's a good idea to clean up and tidy up any mess. Having a clean space will not only look good, but it will also make you feel good, which will keep you calm. Any mess will be distracting and make the house look unkempt. Guests will be happy to see a clean house, and that will lead to you being happier!
Stock the Bathrooms
Make sure all the bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper. This can be easy to forget, but it's an important step. You don't want to have your guests worry about searching for toilet paper or asking for more.
Stocking up on hand soap and clean towels are other nice amenities to keep in mind. Doing this will add to the luxury of their visit, which they will appreciate. Happy visitors mean a happy house, which will allow for more holiday cheer!
Get The House Smelling Good
Having a house that smells pleasant will be sure to leave a wonderful impression on your guests. Using scented candles, spraying scented air sprays, or incense are all great ways to leave your house smelling great. You can use holiday scents such as gingerbread or peppermint to make the celebration truly festive.
Another idea to boost your home's aroma is to bake fresh cookies! Not only does this make your house smell good, but it will also lead to a tasty dessert for later! Chocolate chip cookies will smell great, although there are limitless options such as peanut butter cookies or gingerbread that will be sure to fill the house with joy.
Create a Schedule for the Main Celebration
Having a schedule planned makes sure that all the attendees at your event will be well-prepared. Everyone will be on the same page, and you can make sure that the gathering happens as you hope it does. The schedule gives the guests an idea for when to be ready and prepared to start the celebration.
However, if things start changing and the schedule is not perfectly followed, don't fret! Having a go-with-the-flow mindset will allow you and your guests to still have a joyous time.
Ask For Help When You Need It
Don't be afraid to ask for help, as your guests will appreciate it and will be more than happy to lend a hand. If you need help getting groceries, taking a trip to the store, or organizing, don't be embarrassed to ask. Furthermore, doing these tasks together will continue to build your relationships.
Just because you are hosting the celebration does not mean that you have to do everything by yourself. Everyone will be happy to help, but they will not be able to read your mind. You'll have to ask. This will help reduce your stress, and it's a vital part of hosting a celebration during the holidays.
If cooking everything feels like too much, it's a great idea to do a potluck with your family and friends. Each guest can bring one food item or beverage to make the whole meal. That way, you only have to set up the space and not worry about meals as much.
Take Deep Breaths and Take Your Time
Don't let stress get the best of you. Make sure to take deep breaths if you ever find yourself getting overwhelmed. Holidays are often stressful, so it's best to relax, as that will rub off on your guests too.
Anything that goes wrong will not be remembered a year from now, so don't fret. And if it's remembered, it will only be because it is a great story! It's important to remember that the holidays are a joyous time and that the moments you're all sharing together are the most important thing.