The Best Ways To Entertain Your Friends And Family
We’ve all felt the need to flee our home town during the holidays.
Maybe head to grandma and grandpas house. Sit around while someone else slaves over a hot stove.
Perhaps your children want to see the sights, so you drive off on a winter road trip to the snow.
The quiet could do you some good.
But if this holiday season, you are the one entertaining, you will most likely need all the help you can get.
The stress of having guests in your home may seem overwhelming at times.
The time is almost here, so check out some ways you can relax and enjoy your guests instead of dreading the day they ring the doorbell.
Get yourself organized. Make sure you are up to date with your homeowners insurance, and lean into the holiday spirit.
Be the host(ess) with the most-ess in 2017.
Organization Is Key
First sand foremost, you will want to make that your house in in the condition to host a large body of people.
Whether you are entertaining 8 guests or 25, your home will need to be in top condition.
What does that mean?
Are you bathrooms working properly? Are your windows leaking?
Do you have the right kind of homeowners insurance with liability coverage?
Maybe you have been needing to organize that office. Your relatives are staying over and you need more room!
Get rid of your junk and renew your home.
Be proud of it!
Here is what you will need to check before letting anyone stay in your home:
- The homeowners insurance policy that you currently have may be just fine. But, if you are having a bunch of rowdy kids in your home, you might want to up your liability insurance. You can also get extra coverage for wind and storm damage. This might be a great idea!
- So what does homeowners insurance usually cover? Here are the details:
- Damage to your home, including permanent structures on your property—unless your policy specifically excludes the cause of the damage
- Damage to personal property, meaning the items in your home that are not attached to the dwelling, due to causes outlined in your policy
- Liability coverage for legal matters or accidents that occur on your property
- Loss of use, which allows you to maintain your lifestyle at another residence while your home is being repaired without incurring additional costs
- Limited coverage for items such as stolen jewelry—the amount of coverage varies depending upon state of residence, and you always have the option to increase this coverage.
- Additional coverage available for more valuable items (jewelry, fur, silverware, etc.). If coverage above the limited coverage amount is required, a “rider” should be purchased. This coverage offers a broader range of perils.
The best kind of insurance…
- Now, everyone has a different idea of what insurance means and what it can do for you. Most of us never even think about our insurance policy. But did you know that you could save hundreds of dollars every year by simply having the proper security systems set up in your home? That’s right! Make sure that you contact a broker and ask about discounts.
- On another note, the best kind of insurance that you could buy yourself, is taking care of your home. Keeping up on plumbing issues, heating and air conditions and other issues with your home could really help. During the winter months, your home will take a beating. Help it out by clearing gutters, caulking windows and cleaning up.
Make Your Home Warm And Inviting
One of the simplest things that you can do for your guests and for yourself, is to make your home warm and inviting for Christmas.
Have something smelling good going on at all times. You may want to bake throughout the time people are here.
That’s a great idea, but it is time consuming.
Here are some great ideas to help you keep your house warm and cozy with less work for you.
- Put some cinnamon sticks, water and cranberries on the stove and turn on low. Let this simmer and let the beautiful aroma fill the air. Great smells are very appealing to everyone.
- Pre-bake cookies long before guests come. Freeze them and pull them out of the freezer little by little. People will be very impressed that you have all of these different assortments of goodies readily available. It will also be easier on you.
- Everyone loves food. Put out bowls of nuts, dried fruits, and candies. Make sure there is always something to toss in your mouth. This bring comfort to people.
- Have a bunch of blankets and throws out on your couches, chairs and by the fireplace.
- If you have a fireplace, keep it going. Assign a relative to this task. It will take the burden off of you and I am sure you can find a happy helper.
- Place out stuffed animals, and wooden toys and puzzles for the kids. Keep them entertained so that the guests can all catch up. Maybe put out a small table with paper and crayons. Having a “kid station” is a great idea. You will not regret the fact that the children are busy.
- Don’t stress too much about your kitchen duties. You can assign people to help you little by little. But one way to really ease the stress is for you to stick to tried and true recipes that you know really well. Now is not the time to get creative. Serving large groups of people is hard. Make everyone happy by having a little of everything available. But most importantly it needs to taste good which means you need to know how to make it. Don’t worry, no one is complaining about eating at Christmas. People are happy, bubbly and always hungry.
- Organize beforehand. You can pre-make a few things and freeze them. Jello can be made a day or two before hand. Bread rolls can be bought instead of baked. And the smoker is a great way to slow cook a ham perfectly. Most likely your guests will already have something int heir bellies from all of the snacks you place out before hand. Note that most people are willing to help out if need be, so don’t be afraid to ask!
The Table Setting
The table setting is something that can be done days ahead of time. Your own family can always eat in the living room for a few days. You can opt to purchase really cute Christmas paper plates which are disposable. Many people go with this option so that instead of doing dishes on the same night, they can relax with friends and family.
If you really want to have authentic dish ware, just stack them in warm water and don’t worry about doing the dishes until the next day. Remember that the holiday season is about being with family and friends, not just entertaining them.
Buy cute Christmas napkins for the table and place them in napkin holders. Buy mason jars and fill them with silverware. You don’t have to have a perfect place setting for things to go smoothly. If you want people to dish up at the table, make sure there is plenty of room for food. Otherwise, it is always a great idea to forma line in the kitchen and have people get their food before they sit down. This not only saves room at the table, but makes for less of a mess at the table as well.
Alcohol and Drinks
Every great holiday party needs a plethora of drinks. You should have an assortment available. But if you don’t want to break the bank, have every one bring one of something. If you are sending out invitations to your party, make sure that you put as a side note: for people to bring their favorite beverage. This will save you time and money. Alcohol is not cheap and you are already cooking the whole meal! Go easy on yourself and ask for help.
If you are just having friends over, call up each member and assign them a beverage to bring. Most people are very respectful about this and will bring you lots of wine and gifts for being the host. But you should have a collection of drinks, not just your favorite red wine. So tell people what to bring. No one will be offended.
Kids need to have apple juice, milk and water. You can buy pre-packaged chocolate milk that the children can open themselves. They also have small jars of sparkling apple cider available. Save your cups and have simple, recyclable drinks for the tots.
Flow Of Your Party
One of the biggest complaints of people attending parties and holiday functions is that there is a lot of down time and awkward times when people are just staring at the ceiling. Try and time your party. If you want to eat at 6pm, then from 5 pm until 6 pm have a cocktail party. Pass around slips of paper with cute holiday questions or sayings. One example might be: “What is your most fond Christmas memory?” or “what is the best gift you ever received at Christmas time?” This will at least get conversations going.
If you are all family, try playing a fun game of charades or Pictionary. You will want time when your guests are entertained so that you can create all of the that warm, yummy goodness from the kitchen. Note that children are always fun to watch play games. Let them join in as well.
You already have all of the cheap homeowners insurance you will need, but what about other safety measures?
People are at your house, so you feel a certain amount of responsibility right?
- First, clutter is bad. Remove extra furniture and clutter than anyone could slip or trip over.You want your home to have flow and good vibes. Clear the room except for places to sit.
- Have a large bowl at the front door for people to put their keys. Announce that everyone must put their keys in the bowl!
- Make sure your guests leave with either a designated driver or a clear mind.
- Clear the walkways to and from your house. If it snows where you live, make sure that the walkways are cleared from ice.
- Having elderly people over means extra responsibility. Have assigned people to help the elderly to and from their cars. Make a special seating assignment so that the older you are the better the chair. You want everyone to be comfortable and kids can sit on the smaller and less comfortable chairs.
- Have plenty of water available. If people are drinking, you will want them to stay hydrated. Have bottles water but also ice water with lemon.
Dessert Is Key
Everyone says that they don’t want to eat sugar at Christmas. Roll your eyes at this comment. Because more likely than not, if you pass around the fudge, everyone will take a piece. Christmas is the time when people splurge and let their inhibitions go. Make a ton of desserts and place them out on the table after dinner. Put out small paper plates with napkins. People can pick out what they want. Maybe pre-make these desserts and refrigerate them.
Here are the top desserts to make during the holiday season:
- Chocolate Fidge
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Peppermint Bark
- Cranberry Cheesecake
- Cheesecake Cookies
- Shortbread Cookies
- Sugar Cookies with sprinkles
- Oreo Christmas Tree
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Kisses
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
- Rice Krispy Treats
- Chocolate Toffee
- Peanut Brittle
- Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies
- Pumpkin Pie
- Chocolate Satin Pie
- Caramel Ginger Cupcakes
- Eggnog Cake
- Pecan Pie
When all is said and done, any party you throw will be memorable.
Whether uncle Johnny gets thrown into the pool, our Cousin Sarah spills her eggnog, family is special.
It is veery important that for your holiday party, you invite people you love and respect.
Don’t feel like you need to invite those who will not do your party justice.
You will want to have a good time as well. So make sure that those who come to your house love and respect you and your home.
Christmas season only comes around once a year, so make it special.
If you are hosting a New Years party, make the best of it by reflecting on the past year and all of the good times you had.
Go easy on yourself and remember that hosting a party can be stressful.
Plan ahead and have a timeline for how you want your party to go.
Don’t get too discouraged if it doesn’t go perfectly. Most likely, people will have a blast anyway.
This holiday,throw yourself into hosting your very own party.
You will be happy that you did.
People will be talking about it for years to come!
Rejoice in the spirit of the season.