Inside Stitch

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8 Ways to Be a Great Hostess During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving later this week and the holidays just around the corner, we have all things holiday on the mind. From shopping lists to party plans, evenings and weekends are filling up fast. Your first hosting duties of the year are coming up and if this is your first experience as a hostess ever, we’re sure you have a question or two. Lucky for you, we’re kind of pros when it comes to hosting events and planning parties. Here are 8 tips to make your first hosting stint as seamless as possible.

tips for hosting

1. Give guests ample notice

With chaos of the holidays, it’s important to give your guests plenty of notice. Whether you send out handwritten invitations via snail mail or invite your guests to a Facebook event, we recommend notifying guests at least two to three weeks in advance. This will also allow them plenty of time to RSVP so you can know how much food to make.

2. Choose a theme

A party is never complete without a theme. Festive décor makes a huge difference on the impression you’ll leave with your guests. Once you choose a theme, you’ll be able to better plan your menu and set the tone for when guests arrive.

tips for hosting

3. Plan your menu

As you’re inviting guests, you should already be thinking about your menu. The menu can be the most daunting part of hosting, but it doesn’t have to be. If a five-course meal is overwhelming for your first hosting experience, stick with cocktails and appetizers. If you do go the appetizer route, you will want to let you guests know so they aren’t expecting a full meal. Lastly, request RSVPs a week prior to the event so you can start planning for the amount of ingredients you’ll need.

4. Ask for help

The best hosts aren’t afraid to ask for help. Don’t feel like you need to be responsible for everything — you’re already doing so much! Potluck-style dinners are very popular, so it wouldn’t be uncommon to ask guests to bring a dish to pass. Many guests will even reach out and ask if they can bring anything — graciously accept and let them know what you need.

5. Make more food than you think you need

Even the most seasoned hostesses will tell you that it’s nearly impossible to nail down how much food you’ll truly need. Once you have your headcount, increase your servings — you never know who may unexpectedly bring a guest or have an additional serving. It’s better to be prepared and have leftovers than send your guests home hungry.

6. Have a backup plan

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned, so it’s important to go with the flow. Whether you have a bottle of wine as a back up to that fancy Pinterest cocktail fail or a deck of cards if the conversation dies out — it’s good to always be prepared.

7. Gift your guests

There is nothing that will have guests talking about your party for years to come like a little party favor. You’ve already put a lot of time, effort and money into the event already; so don’t worry about over-the-top gifts. A small gift that can double as part of your décor is a great option. We love using our Zip ID Cases as name cards — it’s an extra special touch on the table that your guest will cherish long after the party ends.

tips for hosting

8. Enjoy yourself

Last, but certainly not least, enjoy yourself! It’s easy to get caught up in hosting duties, but it’s important to let yourself relax and enjoy the company surrounding you. Your guests are there because they want to socialize with you, so after your cooking and serving are complete, have a drink and enjoy the party!

Not hosting this year? We also have 8 tips on how to be a better guest that you’ll definitely want to brush up on.

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