Our companies are backed by the Best Pick Guarantee. Call one today!
How to Host a Holiday DinnerNovember 9th, 2021 by
If you’re new to hosting holiday dinners and feeling a little meek, take a deep breath! All you need are a few simple strategies to host like a pro.
Whether it’s your first time hosting or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to learn. In this article, we’ll share some helpful ideas to prepare your home for a festive holiday dinner.
Your Holiday Hosting How-To
Holiday hosting can mean a twenty-person dinner party, or a simple dinner with your immediate household. Either way, there are some helpful tips to ensure your meal runs smoothly and you don’t get too stressed out in the process.
1. Assess Your Space
First things first: get your guest list in order. Get real with the size of your home, whether you live in a two-story house or a cute condo. Next, check out your dining room table arrangement to determine exactly how many it can seat. The last thing you want is a game of musical chairs.
Remember, there are more holidays to come. As much as you love celebrating, if your home can’t hold everyone, there’s always another event you can invite them to. Start small and keep it simple to make the most of a fun and tasty holiday dinner.
2. Send Invites
Some events are more casual than others, but holiday parties are worth planning. After making your guest list, send out invites requesting an RSVP with at least a week’s notice. Plan to get your invites out early, as holiday events build up quickly.
In terms of invite delivery, life in the digital age means evites, emails, or texts are all fair game for holiday events. Be sure to consider alternate invites for those who prefer traditional communication.
3. Make a Menu
The food is the star of the show at any party, and you’re likely feeling the heat. Stick to tried-and-true recipes to ensure you don’t add stress to your day. Add in a few sides and a classic dessert, or ask guests to take on the responsibility of bringing those to lighten your load.
When planning your menu, start by focusing on the main food (like turkey, ham, or beef), a starch, and a vegetable. Consider buying rolls, pies, beverages, or appetizers to supplement your cooking. There’s nothing wrong with a little kitchen assistance for a delicious holiday dinner.
4. Ask for Help
Just because you’re new to hosting doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. Why not ask your friends for tips or your mom for easy recipe ideas? Even if they can’t contribute time, prior experience is worth its weight in gold. Ask them what to do and what to avoid as you prep your party.
It’s possible you’re still learning your way around the kitchen. We’ve all been there. Why not expand your repertoire by watching cooking videos? There are plenty of free options online and tasty recipes at your fingertips. Wow your family with food they’ve never had by casting a wider net.
5. Set the Scene
Create a holiday feel from the moment guests enter your home with fun holiday décor. Focus on high-traffic areas like the table or entryway for maximum mileage.
If you’re not sure where to start, choose a theme or color palette perfect for the event. Consider a colorful tablecloth, decorative runner, napkin rings, or festive place cards. If crafts are your thing, you can create a custom wreath or centerpiece.
6. Remember Safety
With the health of your guests in mind, you can keep your home safe and sanitary with the help of a few easy techniques. For starters, stock your kitchen and bathroom(s) with soap and hand sanitizer. Wipe down any surfaces before your guests arrive and repeat after they leave.
4 Kitchen Appliances to Make Hosting Easy as Pie
If cooking for your family were a sport, the holidays would be your playoff season. Though putting together a holiday meal for your nearest and dearest is daunting, you can do it like the pros if you have the right backup. The following appliances will help you save time so you can focus on what really matters—quality time with your guests.
1. Food Processor
Slicing, chopping, grating, and kneading only add to your food prep time. This kitchen essential offers many of the same perks as an extra set of hands while taking up a lot less space.
This appliance isn’t just great for entertaining; it’s a handy kitchen helper that will streamline your cooking process all year round.
Use this master blender throughout your Thanksgiving menu. It’ll help you chop fine vegetables for dressing, knead your dough for fresh baked bread, whip up the perfect pie puree, and make some dips and sauces for awesome appetizers.
2. Stand Mixer
Baking is an involved, often time-consuming art, and stand mixers are a classic tool of the trade. Automatic mixers save your elbows from exhausting manual work. They also save time—what takes you ten minutes to hand mix takes this machine just seconds, so you can tackle meringues and mousses like a pro.
3. Wine Fridge or Chiller
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or like your wine boxed, investing in a wine fridge or chiller may be for you. Wine, it turns out, is a sensitive creature. If you plan to keep a bottle for more than a few weeks, keep in mind that factors such as temperature, light, and humidity can affect its flavor.
If you like a variety of wines or intend to age a few bottles, a wine fridge is a good investment. On the other hand, if you just pull out the wine for the occasional get-together, you should consider a chiller. Wine chillers quickly cool the wine your guests bring, so you can enjoy your beverage properly without the wait.
Now you may be thinking, “Crockpots are slow by design—how can they help me?” But they can. Crockpots are great because they’re so self-contained.
They can also help finely cook cheaper cuts of meat that turn out tough when cooked on a stovetop. Free up precious oven space and make your savory dishes, like roast beef or green beans, in a crockpot. They’ll stay warm for hours and be ready whenever you are.
This holiday season, you don’t have to go it alone. Consider investing in some backup to help with holiday prep so you can cut down kitchen time and focus on quality time.
Tips to Make Holiday Hosting Easier
Relax and holidays are two words that can pair well together if you follow the tips below to help keep you stress-free and a hosting champion. Here’s how to relax into the role of hostess with the mostest.
Planning For Holiday Dinners
If you’re tired of hosting holidays, a formal dinner might seem a bit much. Take a moment to breathe before getting yourself in a tizzy. After all, hosting a holiday dinner can be business as usual—you’re just adding some spots to the table. Pick and choose your favorite holiday dinner ideas for a simpler hosting experience.
- Opt For a Potluck: Hosting holidays can also mean breaking tradition. Maybe you decide to make the turkey and stuffing but ask guests to bring sides or dessert. Every little bit counts!
- Keep It Simple: Hosting dinner doesn’t necessarily involve a five-course meal. Stick to meat (or veggie alternative), starch, and vegetable before adding on extras.
- Shop Around: Homemade is great if you’ve got time for it. While you’re making the turkey, save some time buying pre-made rolls, pies, or sides for a little help.
- Spray Your Surfaces: Keep yourself and your family safe by disinfecting your counters regularly. Let friends and family know their safety is your priority.
- Limit The Guests: The pandemic has meant making adjustments for safer family gatherings. Try to keep your guest list reasonable to prevent a crowded space.
Hosting friends and family from out of town involves cooking, cleaning, and strategic planning. Get a sense of what you can and can’t handle long before the invites go out. Here’s how to go about hosting out-of-town guests like a pro.
- Get a Headcount: Are you hosting a family of three, separate singles, or even pets? Know exactly who’s coming and where they can sleep well in advance.
- Check Your Bedding: Do you have enough beds? What about sheets? Have you checked for blankets and pillows? Make sure to get your house in order in time for their arrival.
- Prep Toiletries: We all know what it’s like to forget essentials at home. Make small but helpful toiletry baskets for your guests to cover all their bases.
Planning For Company
Sometimes, nearby friends or family might join you for an evening or enjoy a holiday at your house. Here’s how to go about entertaining people for a shorter visit:
- Prep The Rooms: Even if the stay is short, you’ll still need to strategize. Know exactly how many people to expect and where they can stay.
- Make Your Meals: Are your guests coming over for dinner or spending the weekend? Will you and your pals be eating in or out? Try to get a sense of food needs with plenty of time to prep.
- Ask About Plans: Knowing your guests’ plans helps you establish how much time you’ll spend together or apart. Communication is key, so don’t be shy about politely digging for details.
- Confirm Plans: Particularly for friends or family who live nearby, plans to stay over can feel really casual. Confirm your plans are still on a day or two before, just to be safe.
- Safety First: Your friend or family members might live nearby but that doesn’t mean they’ll remember to bring everything. Provide provisions like a mask, mini hand sanitizer, and personal-size tissues for a safe stay.
How to Handle Delays and Declines
Sometimes, life is too full to accept guests. Declining to host may seem taboo, but there are ways to do so nicely. Here are some of the best ways to decline hosting a holiday dinner.
- Give Notice: If you must pass on hosting the holidays, be sure to give plenty of notice. Guests will forgive you more quickly if there’s enough time to make alternate arrangements.
- Explain Your Reasons: Life is busy, and you may have a valid reason. Do you have health concerns? Are you tied up with work? Are personal issues getting in the way? Tell them why you can’t commit without divulging too much.
- Postpone Your Plans: Sometimes, people may ask you to host without enough notice. It’s not always fair or easy to accept under those circumstances. Ask whether they’d be willing to push things back to a later date instead.
- Suggest a Compromise: Say your family wants to come over for Christmas, but your in-laws have already made plans. Suggest hosting the next big holiday to meet them halfway.
Hosting a holiday dinner can give you all the feels, but there’s no need to stress. With friends, family, and food at the heart of any holiday, it’s important you enjoy yourself over anything else. Follow our tips above to create a holiday event tailored to your needs.