Shake off that welcome mat: the holiday entertaining season is upon us! Gathering family and friends is always exciting, but especially so when you are hosting an event in a new home for the first time. To earn yourself the title of “host with the most,” here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Mind your walkway:
Hiking has a place and time—but the trek from a car to your front door isn’t the occasion. With wintry weather possible, have your snow shovel ready and stock up on salt so slipping isn’t a risk for guests. And with night falling earlier each day, make sure the pathway is well-lit. While you’re at it, give your door bell a test run so you don’t leave guests stranded on your front porch because you didn’t hear their arrival.
2. Make a good entryway impression:
Once guests step inside your front door, consider what second step you want them to take: Should they remove their shoes? Great, put a shoe mat beside the door. Will there be a place for them to hang their coats? Perfect, point them in that direction or offer to help. Depending on the conditions outside, this space can get slippery and crowded in a hurry, so consider keeping a towel nearby to mop up the floor between arrivals.
3. Create a simple self-serve station:
If you’re hoping to have time to interact with guests and enjoy the gathering, make sure you won’t get stuck playing bartender or caterer all night by setting up a food and drink station. As they arrive, give them a quick rundown and permission to help themselves. Then just check in occasionally to see what needs replenishing or to refill your own plate!
4. Give the guest bathroom another look:
Beyond the basics of making sure there is toilet paper and soap, think about swapping out hand towels for some fresh, seasonal ones and running a diffuser or candle with a nice scent. No, this isn’t the main space your guests will spend time—but a few small, thoughtful touches go a long way.
5. Embrace seasonal ambiance:
They write songs about hosting events this time of year for good reason. There really is nothing like gathering around a nice fire on a dark, cold evening. Tap into the tone by playing some music in the background and lighting an apple pie-scented candle.