Often when I think of what it is to be the perfect host, my mind floods with images of a woman, impeccably done up. Her hair is immaculately groomed, nails polished in the exact shade of pink, lipstick applied carefully and exact. Her home is thoroughly cleaned with not an item out of place. Maybe I am thinking of that perfect 1950’s persona. Who can say.
For myself, the idea of the perfect hostess is quite different. I still like to look fancy, and definitely want to have a clean home, but there are so many things that you can do without being perfect to create a perfect environment for your guests. Lets take Thanksgiving for example. What a large dinner to undertake! Don’t despair, I am here with 7 tips to being the perfect host/hostess this holiday season.
- My first tip to being a perfect host is to create a welcoming environment for your guest to arrive into. What does this mean? A welcoming entryway can say a lot about what is to come. Whether your entry is large and spacious full of opulence, a tiny space, or virtually nonexistent, you can create a space for your guests to feel welcome. Having a place to sit is always a great idea when creating an entryway for your guests. Unless you’d like to watch them hop around trying to get those shoes on, seating is a must. Another item? Somewhere to hang coats and purses. I will tell you I have been guilty of lacking this aspect. But I digress. I have a coat closet. My entry isn’t large, but it is a cozy spot for people to sit down and collect their belongings. It is the opening paragraph to a book, setting the scene and the mood, giving them a glimpse of my home.
- A roaring fire. Now, I know this is not possible for everyone, but if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, get that thing going! I live in a pretty chilly area, and by mid-October we are using our fireplace on a daily basis. A fireplace is a great place for people to gather and connect. Stories are told and friendships are deepened around a crackling fire. We have spent countless hours with friends and family reminiscing over old stories as the glow of the fire warms us.
- Create an inviting centerpiece. For my table this year, I purposely created a family friendly centerpiece. You are invariably going to have children at a Thanksgiving feast and I definitely will. I chose to use some brown butcher paper as my table runner this year. It doubles as my name cards and a fun place that the children and adults the same can doodle and entertain themselves. An antique dough bowl full of white pumpkins, some homemade sweater pumpkins and two mason jars full of fall goodness, and my centerpiece is done.
- Set your table, equipped with name cards. Since I used butcher paper, I used it to my advantage and created name tags on the paper. My kids loved seeing their names on the table, guiding them to their seat. One of my goals is to not over complicate things. Using the butcher paper in this way simplifies my table. Another bonus? I can throw the whole thing out when we are finished. And if someone decides to doodle a lovely picture, they can tear it out and take it home with them.
- Festive Holiday Decor is always a must. This year I love using a neutral decor. Neutral pumpkins, combined with elements from nature can create a fantastic fall decor for your home. It creates a feeling of calm in my world full of noise. I have created many items this fall to add to my farmhouse decor. From stenciled pillows, applique, twig wreathes, and on, I have been busy! Overall, these projects have been quite easy to do, but the impact was huge. It doesn’t take much to fill your home with the feel of fall and Thanksgiving.
- This might be icky, but have that bathroom clean and guest ready! Nobody likes to see those icky yellow stains and other unmentionable blah. Believe me, I have 4 boys(including my hubby) that keep my bathroom duties hopping. Have plenty of toilet paper on hand, a nice clean hand towel, and good hand soap available. Some good smelling spray is also a great idea. We received some of that Poopouri as a gift from a friend. It always makes us giggle. O know this seems like pretty common sense type of stuff, but really, I think sometimes this might be an area that gets overlooked with all the chaos of the holidays. Don’t strand someone inside, keep it stocked up!
- My biggest and most important tip is to have a great time! If your guest can see that you care stressed and working mad like a dog, they are going to feel a little uncomfortable. Take it easy, don’t over stretch yourself! I am all too guilty of doing this. Your guest might remember that fantastic dish of roasted turkey or that amazing pumpkin pie, but what they will remember more, is the loving and cheerful atmosphere you have created for them in your home. Relax, take time to enjoy your company and if the rolls burn, take some humor in it instead of buying into that childlike tantrum you want to throw. Believe me, I have had many in my day. Be thankful for the chance to spend this wonderful holiday with those that you love, and show them by creating a space that will be welcoming and inviting. Spend more time creating memories and less time worrying and stressing. What makes you the perfect host is being genuine, being thoughtful, and being you.
*This post was originally created for and featured first on blog.krrb.com *
Have a great day!