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Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday Guests

Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday GuestsAre you having guests for the holidays? The month of December tends to be a busy time of hosting friends and family for holiday parties, cookie swaps, and family gatherings. If you’re the host, that can be stressful, particularly if you have perfectionist tendencies like me! While it’s natural to want your home to be as welcoming and comfortable to guests as possible, you’ll make them anxious if you spend all your time fussing over your home and your guests. Here are a few easy ways to be a five-star host while also keeping your sanity in check.

Be Prepared

Stock up on some easy entertaining supplies for unplanned or last-minute guests. Tidy up your guest room, keep the bathroom clean and stocked, and fill your pantry with easy appetizers like chips and salsa, crackers and summer sausage, hot cocoa and ciders. There are also some yummy snacks and treats that can be kept in your freezer and heated up as needed for drop-in guests. During the holidays, I also keep a frozen lasagna on hand — you never know when you’ll need an easy dinner to feed a houseful!

While it’s natural to want your home to be welcoming and comfortable to guests, you’ll make them anxious if you spend all your time fussing over your home and your guests. Keep it simple. Click To Tweet

Keep It Simple

Instead of hosting a big, expensive party, try inviting friends over for cider and cookies. People get partied out pretty quickly over the holidays, and a laid-back evening can be a welcome treat during the busy Christmas season. Potlucks are an easy way to host a dinner party while keeping you from working in the kitchen all night.

Christmas Simplicity Tip: Tidy your guest room, clean and stock the bathroom, and fill your pantry with easy appetizers like crackers and summer sausage or hot cocoa and ciders. You'll be ready to host guests at a moment's notice! Click To Tweet

Meal Plan

If you’re having guests during the holidays, preplan breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and shop in advance so you’ll have all your groceries on hand. This is a great list to keep in your holiday notebook for reference next year. I like knowing exactly what we’re doing for each meal so I don’t get anxious trying to come up with dinner at the last minute.

Say Yes

When friends and family offer to bring a dish to your party or holiday meal, say yes. To simplify even more, pre-plan the meal as a potluck and invite guests to share a favorite food. This works especially well when the host provides the main dish and drinks, and guests bring appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. A few years ago, I was a control freak when it came to my menus, and I didn’t want anyone to bring something that might “conflict” with the plan (terrible, I know!) Now, I’m all about simplicity, so I am thrilled when someone offers up a dish. Saves me some work and I get to enjoy someone else’s cooking!

When friends and family offer to bring a dish to your party or holiday meal, say yes! Keep your gatherings simple to avoid stress! Click To Tweet

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Don’t set expectations too high. If you’re hosting a party, remember it’s just a party. It’s supposed to be fun, not perfect. You won’t be the worst host in history, but you’re not Martha Stewart either. Stop stressing and have fun.

Simply Christmas by Sandy Kreps

For more ideas for an easygoing holiday, check out my book, Simply Christmas, with 101 ways to simplify the holidays. 

Simple Hospitality When You Have Holiday Guests

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2 Replies

  1. Love this advice, Sandy, especially the “frozen lasagna on hand” and the “say yes” to guests who offer to bring a dish. Never say “no” to the help, lol!

  2. Molinda

    I want one of those cookies!

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