How to Survive Hosting Your First Holiday Get-together
Recently moved into a new place or purchased your first family home? Have more space for family and friends? Sounds like you’re ready to host your first-ever holiday party!
As with most things related to the holidays, hosting a get-together can be both fun and hectic. But have no fear, the Christmas party-planning elves are here! And we’ve compiled a list of tips for first-time hosts to ensure your holiday get-together goes off without a hitch.
Prepare in Advance
Life is busy around the holidays. Begin planning your party at least a month or two in advance and send out the invitations in good time – early enough to allow your potential guests to mark the date on their calendars before things fill up.
If you’re still waiting to hear from guests who have yet to confirm after a couple of weeks, follow up. This way you’ll have an exact number, which makes your job as host a whole lot easier.
A couple of weeks out, you should also prepare by ensuring you have enough décor as well as food preparation supplies. If you live in a one-bedroom condo, chances are you don’t own a 16-piece set of fine china. Paper plates will do the trick! Just be sure to have enough (and even a handful of extras) for all guests.
A few days before your gathering, clean your home and pick up all the necessary ingredients from the grocery store, as well as any last-minute supplies you may have forgotten. Doing this means that you won’t need to stress during the 24 hours leading up to the big day.
Ensure Your Space is Welcoming to Guests
First time hosting a party in your new home (or any home)? Most guests are just happy you’re the one hosting – but advance preparation will take an added weight off your shoulders.
Make guests feel comfortable and welcome by setting the scene. Decorate with festive accents, like decorative trees and garland – whatever suits your style. Freshen up your home by burning a non-toxic candle or diffusing a festive essential oil blend, like clove, peppermint and orange.
Don’t forget your air quality! With the windows tightly shut and the heat on, indoor air quality can take a dive in the winter. Dust mites can be found in sofas and trigger asthma attacks; cigarette smoke and cooking fumes can also cause poor respiratory symptoms. Air purifiers are one of the best ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home and are a must for:
- Babies and young kids
- Pregnant women
- People with pets
- People who live near industrial areas
You should also plug in your humidifier before they arrive to ensure guests won’t be leaving with itchy, dry throats at the end of the evening.
Plan Menu Ahead of Time
Planning your menu ahead of time means that you’ll be able to relax during the days leading up to your gathering.
Although it can be difficult to plan a menu around people’s dietary restrictions, it’s important to have your bases covered. For example, if you have a friend with a peanut allergy, steer clear of peanut butter desserts or any recipe with traces of nuts. Have an aunt who’s vegetarian? Prepare at least a couple of dishes without meat or fish.
Planning the menu also means you should be planning food storage and preparation. It’s not encouraged to prepare all of the food on the day of, so be sure you have enough fridge and freezer space for proper food storage prior to and during the party. A 3.8 cu. ft. chest freezer is a great option for those with limited space. It’s designed to fit flush against the wall with its smooth-back construction – the perfect combination of space-saving and storage-savvy.
Prepare Small, Meaningful Details Your Guests Will Remember
Looking for the perfect final addition to your holiday bash? Why not invest in an appliance you can use all year long? Kegerators are a unique option your friends will surely look forward to. The keg cooler includes a CO2 tank and all required hardware, as well as a precise mechanical temperature control function. It’s got a scratch-resistant top, a black/chrome beer tower dispenser and chrome guardrail.
Not a beer drinker? A wine cooler is the perfect choice for you! With a vast assortment to choose from, you’ll find the one that fits your needs.
Ice makers will also make your life a whole lot easier. There’s no need to store tippy, tedious ice cube trays in a freezer when an ice maker will keep your drinks cold and refreshing. As an added bonus, it’ll look great sitting on your countertop!