The holidays are here and that means that you’re probably getting ready to have friends and family stop in to celebrate the season at your home. If you are, there are some things to remember to help make the day happy, comfortable and cheery.
Coat Check: Be ready for the influx of coats and boots when your guests arrive. Take a few minutes to remove all of the extra coats your family has hanging by the door to make room for more from your guests, or have a space ready upon entry. Having an extra mat for wet shoes and boots will also help to keep things organized and clean when your friends and family are in and out of the house.
Drinks: If you will be serving alcoholic beverages at your party remember to have a selection of non-alcoholic drinks available for non-drinkers, designated drivers and children. Coffee, tea, juice and pop are great options and are easy to keep in the house until you need them. Chances are you’ll want these items as mix in your drinks anyway, so just add some extra to your shopping list and you’ll be ready.
Snacks: If you aren’t serving a holiday meal, or even if you are, some snacks are always a great thing to have available to your guests. A selection of baked goodies, a bowl of mixed nuts, a platter of veggies and a plate of cheese and crackers are great options to help keep your guests from becoming too hungry while they enjoy your company.
Entertainment: We all know that the conversation between your guests will be plenty entertaining, but there are still a few things that you can do to make the atmosphere more lush. Holiday music is a great background option, just remember to keep it to a low volume so it doesn’t turn your conversations into yelling matches in the living room. Having some quiet toys around is also an excellent idea if there will be children at the house. Puzzles, card games, Lego, dolls, cars, anything that the kids can play without bells and whistles and horns should be ready to go when the young ones (or the young at heart) get antsy.
Atmosphere: Soft holiday music in the background is a lovely way to set the holiday mood. But you can also up the ante with gorgeous decorations and sweet smells. Remember to keep your decorations clear of walking and seating areas so they don’t get tangled or broken. If you’re going to have Mistletoe, make sure people know where it is! To bring the smells of the holidays to life you can bring a pot of water to boil, adding orange rinds, cinnamon, apple peels, nutmeg or pine needles. Without the effort of cooking a meal for 20 you will have created a feel-good holiday ambiance.
More than anything, remember this: The holidays are a time for family, friends and celebration. No matter what you eat, drink, talk about or listen to, enjoy the company of the people you love and be thankful for the opportunity to be with them.