I love hosting get-togethers at Christmas time! My house looks bright and festive, peppermint is everywhere, and the feeling of goodwill and hope can be felt throughout. December is probably my favorite month to host dinners and parties. Today I am sharing 5 quick tips to make your holiday hosting smooth and effective.
1.) Have a Playlist Ready.
Don’t wait until the last minute to search through your music library to find something suitable for entertaining. Have a holiday playlist ready to go and have it playing softly before guests arrive. Check out my top 25 favorite Christmas songs for hosting.
Keep the music soft so it does not interfere with conversation. I recommend getting a home smart system and placing small speakers throughout your home to keep music consistent in otherwise quiet rooms. I have small google nest speakers in places like my guest room, bathrooms, and study. This allows the same music to play throughout and provides a little noise to otherwise boring rooms.
If you don’t want, or feel comfortable with, a home smart system you can purchase small inexpensive Bluetooth speakers and play music the same way using your phone as a base for the music.
I also have a list of favorite Christmas artists if you prefer to add full albums:
- Michael Bublé
- Francesca Battistelli
- Chris Young
- Point of Grace
- Brett Eldridge
- Lauren Daigle
- Idina Menzel
- Andrea Bocelli
- Straight, No Chaser
2.) Utilize Candles.
There is something very cozy and inviting about candles burning in your home. You also get the added benefit of the delightful aroma.
My favorite scents for hosting are vanilla, cream, candy cane, fig, cotton, lavender, lemon, birch, or fresh snow. Be careful not to choose scents that are overpowering or heavily musky. Also, consider if your guest has allergies or is expecting. Certain scents can cause sneezing or vomiting that you don’t want you guests to have to deal with (and neither do you).
To add an extra special touch to your dinner table bring out that pair of candlesticks, or those special tea lights. Just be sure any candles on the dinner table are unscented as you don’t want anything to unpleasantly mix with your food.
3.) Make Coffee.
Even if you don’t drink it, your guests may welcome a cup. If not, then the smell itself is very warm and inviting. Be sure to have basic cream and sugar for guests who do want to drink a cup. If you want to make it extra special keep a few syrups or flavored creamers on hand to dress up plain coffee.
If I will be serving coffee I like to make up a tray with a French press, cream, sugar, and use coffee cups with saucers.
I recommend having an electric kettle for quick heating of water to make your own French pressed coffee. It’s an elegant presentation and it makes guests feel extra special. Besides that, it’s fun and tastes so much better!
4.) Set an Appetizer Out.
If dinner will take a few extra minutes of prep work, be sure to have an appetizer set out to keep guests satisfied. It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate, you can choose something simple or complex. It’s entirely up to you and what time you have.
My go-to appetizer for snacking before dinner is usually a light cheese, a thin cracker, and thin cut deli meat such as salami or pepperoni. Be sure to communicate with guests how long dinner will be so they can snack accordingly.
If you have a little more time and want to step it up, Ritz crackers with an herbed cream cheese and smoked salmon is a beautiful hor d’oeuvres to serve as long as there are no seafood allergies or aversions. Other quick options include berries, veggies, cocktail shrimp, or nuts.
5.) Know Your Guests.
You may not know everyone as well as you’d like; after all getting to know them may be why you’ve invited them into your home. However, make an effort to know something about them and their life for conversation starters. Look on their social media page or ask a mutual friend.
Things to know would be: Do they have kids? What do they do for a job? Are they religious? These points can give you enough information to start a conversation and dive deeper.
Hopefully these quick 5 tips will help you during this holiday season of hosting. My ultimate goal is to make you more confident with every meal you cook, every party you throw, and every person you bring in to your life.
As always, if there are any particular subjects you’d like to read about or learn more about, please contact me via the Contact Us page! I would love to know more about what YOU need!