It seems like just a few days ago that we were preparing for Christmas 2014 and here we are again with the holiday season upon us. Over the next few weeks, you will likely have multiple functions to attend be it family dinners, work parties or holiday concerts. Although it can be a busy time, it's also a time to reconnect with friends and family and sharing special moments with one another.
Are you hosting over the holidays? If so, you'll likely have the task of preparing a feast, which is a lot of work! It can be a daunting task to make sure all of the to dos are checked off your list before the first knock sounds at your door. There lights to string, cakes to frost, drinks to mix. It can all get a little overwhelming, can’t it?
Here are a few tips for holiday hosting:
Make a list (and check it twice!): It may seem obvious, but jotting down your to-do’s will help you stay focused and on track. And is there anything more satisfying than checking completed chores?
Deck the halls: The holiday season is a wonderful time to show off your personality and decoration sense. Adding seasonal colors and warmth to your home creates an inviting environment. Simply lighting a few candles can transform a room into a festive space.
Cut the stress: There’s nothing more uninviting than a stressed out host. You’ve done what you can to prepare and once guests begin arriving, take a breather and enjoy their company.
Prepare ahead: If possible, do most of the food preparation days in advance so you’re not exhausted when the party rolls around. We like to have lots of appetizers, such as crackers, cheese, and gourmet preserves, around the house for guests to nibble on. (I've shared a couple of our favorite holiday recipes below.)
Practice true hospitality: We’ve learned over the years that preparing a tantalizing menu and getting the table set can often be a cinch compared to ensuring everyone feels at home and welcome. Isn’t it beautiful how gathering around the table unites us? We have the chance to engage in meaningful conversation and sometimes hilarious banter.
True hospitality can often take a lot of effort, but in the end your guests will feel so genuinely welcome. Author Shauna Niequist says, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”
This Christmas, let's not only cook up incredible dishes, but reach out to friends, family, and even strangers with authentic hospitality. It’s what this holiday season is all about.
P.S. Here are a few gourmet holiday recipes that are tasty and simple to prepare: