The holiday season brings with it numerous dinner obligations and family gatherings. This year you may find yourself expecting your own guests. Those who have hosted before understand the amount of time and preparation it takes to organize a flawless evening. By following our guide, you can transform yourself into the ideal host by planning a wonderful get-together.
Checklists are a handy tool and the perfect way to stay on top of everything. Creating a list and ticking off the tasks when they are complete will not only help you maximize your time, but it will ensure that you avoid any oversights. This way you can avoid forgetting important details.
For example, by writing down the names of all those invited – family, friends, colleagues and neighbours alike – you can determine the number of plates and cutlery needed, the seating chart and the right amount of food to prepare for dinner. This way everyone will be happy and you will be less likely to stress out before the party.
Send Out Personalized Invitations
With the advance of technology, sending out quick invites to your guests is not difficult, but why not have fun with it by making the invitations yourself? Add a special touch by personalizing the cards with stickers, golden ink, glitter and bows … the options are limitless.
The end of the year can be hectic, so make sure to consult your guests first before setting a date. Once you choose a date, do not forget to include the time, the address and all other pertinent information. We understand that DIY cards may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so feel free to browse custom-made cards from Etsy.
Choose Your Menu
According to most customs, the expectation is on the host to provide the food, but you should not feel forced to cook everything. A potluck is an excellent way to make sure that the pressure is not all on you. It is also a great way to include everyone and guarantee there are different varieties of flavours and dishes to enjoy.
Also, step away from the yule log. For dessert, bring a new twist to an old tradition by gathering in front of the oven and making delicious gingerbread cookies. The perfect activity for both the young and old: the adults can take care of the baking, while the children decorate. This will delight gourmands of all ages!
Organize the Table
You will spend most of the evening around the dining table, so it only makes sense to decorate it as festively as possible. On this special occasion, take out your best dish set from the cupboard and arrange your silverware with care. Every detail counts, from the choice of napkins and placemats to the perfect final touches. For further inspiration, read here for advice from our go-to home décor expert at Laura.
If space is limited, you can always use the surrounding furniture to decorate and display your flavourful dishes. Although pretty, centrepieces can be cumbersome and turn into an unwanted distraction. Do you have a buffet table or a console with a workable surface? Use it to your advantage.
Relax and Enjoy
Spending quality time in the company of loved ones can be rare sometimes. Do not miss out because you were too busy trying to control every single detail, or occupied with cleaning the dishes. Release the pressure, pour yourself a cup of wine, accept that some things are out of your control and take full advantage of the moment.
Do not forget to create a playlist! Your favourite holiday tunes will inspire you and your guests to hit the dance floor. Finally, to conclude on a positive note, end the evening by exchanging gifts from underneath the tree.
The recipe for the perfect holiday evening? The five points we highlighted, happy guests and a host who enjoys herself to the fullest.
On behalf of the Laura team, happy holidays!
Adapted from French by Amina Reaz