Hosting Survival Guide: How to Impress Your Guests Without the Stress

Hosting Survival Guide: How to Impress Your Guests Without the Stress

Sean Harty

As the countdown to the holidays commence so does the planning for holiday hosting! I have to admit the butterflies in my stomach are half excitement and half anxiety with all the To-Do’s running through my head. But over the years I have watched and learned from some of the very best at hosting and I thankfully gleamed a bit of how to stay stress free and guest ready while still being proud of the thoughtful details.

So today I am sharing a few quick tricks that help a little go a very long way in family gatherings and holiday celebrations.

1. Being thoughtful in the details does not mean crafting.

I have often found that the smallest things make the biggest impact to guests. Here are a few little things I like to do"

Beautiful Liquid soap, Lotion, and a lit candle in the bathroom are almost ALWAYS commented on. My favorite is when I see someone walk back into the room and they are rubbing their hands together after trying said lotion. It just makes my heart happy.

Hand written name cards or little letters at place settings. Sometimes if I plan ahead enough (and I don’t have too many guests) I write little notes or a little saying on their plates so when they sit down its an encouraging way to start the evening. As well as a great conversation starter!

Drink tables are not overrated. I usually do 1 premixed drink and then leave the rest on a drink table for everyone to enjoy. Just remember to leave a pretty marker or tags so they can label their cups.

 2. Start early

 I know I sound a little bit crazy, but to take the stress off I have an ongoing “Honey do” list on my phone weeks in advance. That way on the weekends or things I can prep weeks (or days) in advance and not be overwhelmed. I first get my home ready aka Wood for the fire, set up tables, gather extra chairs, clean - and then I leave the cooking to a day or two before. I try to pick dishes that you can prep the ingredients so its fairly easy to throw them all together the day of because all of the chopping is done!

3. Lean in to what YOU are good at (Don’t compare yourself to the ultimate Pinterest host)

 Pinterest and Instagram are our best and worst friends for holiday prep. You go on for inspiration and then leave completely overwhelmed sometimes. My advice? Remember what makes you - you and lean into that. Don’t try to create a handmade centerpiece from sticks and pumpkins if its not your jam. Candles and simple greens ALWAYS win the game for me. If you love music, make an amazing playlist for the night. Your event and your home are a reflection of you. So don’t try to reflect someone else. Keep you holiday checklist simple.

4. Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you have friends and family around. Have people bring a holiday treat, appetizers or desserts and just keep the main meal what you focus on.

Also - If a friend is great at florals or loves to organize ask them to come a week early! Community is what the holiday season is all about!

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