Thanksgiving is behind us, which means that holiday parties are littering your December calendar, and stacks of invitations cover your kitchen table. Chances are you might even be hosting a get together yourself. Whether it is a casual afternoon tea or a full blown evening soiree, here are some useful tips and tricks to make you the best hostess yet:
> Prep as much as you can the day before. Try appetizers that can be done ahead of time, and set up/clean your home and event space before hand. This way you won't be in a time crunch hours before the party.
> Create a pleasant and clean guest bathroom. Have a candle, some fresh towels, etc. Make sure to remove any visible clutter.
> Candles are always a nice touch. It can be fun to buy some with a seasonal scent like pine or peppermint, but make sure they aren't too smelly. Strategically place them around your event space in a way that will make them noticeable but out of the way - you don't want anyone to accidentally knock into one!
> Consider the weather - if you live in a snowy and cold place, assume your guests will come in scarves, coats, gloves and boots. Make sure you have an area for them to sit and take off their outerwear, and a place to keep their things safe, clean, and dry.
> If you are planning on serving alcohol, create a signature drink and have it ready for when your guests arrive. Consider something festive like spiked apple cider or egg nog. Make sure to have white and red wine available as well.
> Have some background music playing throughout the event. It doesn't have to be Christmas themed or particularly loud, but some nice instrumental or jazz tunes can spice up the atmosphere.
> Don't forget to relax and spend genuine time with your guests! They aren't there just for the food and nice ambience, they are there for you. Enjoy your event and don't stress out too much - it is a party, have fun!
> Post-party, consider writing your guests thank-you notes. Not only will these be rather unexpected, they will make your guests that much more grateful for your event. Plus, this is the season to share your gratitude - start with some thank-yous.
What are your best hostess tips? Happy planning!