Hosting your friends and family at Christmas may seem like a good idea, but two hours deep into basting a dead animal and pouring away your beloved wine stash, and you’re starting to miss being the un-responsible guest who hides with a box of quality streets in the corner. But it’s too late to back out of your hosting duties now, and you’re no quitter. After two whole years of Christmas dinners under my hosting belt, I’ve put together some top tips to help make your hostessing run smoother than your gravy.
1. Ask your guests bring a bottle. Your fridge might look like you’re starting your own nightclub, but you can never have enough booze in the house when it comes to hostessing. Nothing irks guests more or says *parties over!* than empty bottles of secco’. Keep the drinks flowing and they’ll most likely forget any mishaps when it comes to burning the potatoes. Plus, if there’s some left over you can always send your guests home with their bottle, tricking them into feeling like they’re going home with a gift… a gift they brought nonetheless, but they won’t remember that after all the bubbles.
2. Make sure there’s plenty of food. This might sound like an obvious one, but having enough food left over for seconds adds some excitement to the day, plus you don’t want your guests feeling unsatisfied. Nothing spreads Christmas cheer more than discovering the left-over Yorkshire puddings to soak up all the alcohol.
3. It’s the little things that count. Every time I’d host, I’d always go out of my way to add a personal touch to the day. From themed menu’s and drinks, to hand making personalised Pom-Pom tree decorations, your guests will always appreciate the little things which show you care. If you’re not very crafty, Etsy is great for personalised tree decorations and at reasonable prices.
4. Make sure there’s entertainment. Because what’s an episode of Come Dine With Me without seeing four strangers in a hot tub and a pub singer blasting out Frank Sinatra in someone’s living room. Beer pong is an easy drinking game to involve everyone, and certainly one which gets the party going. Board games always go down well, but you might want to by pass a lengthy game of Monopoloy for a quick fire round of Articulate. Playing cards are also another great game to have handy, and I guarantee each of your guests will have their own style of ‘Ring of Fire’ to spice things up a bit.
5. Keep the conversation light-hearted. The drinks are flowing, feelings aren’t heightened and everyone’s enjoying themselves. But with groups of people always comes conflict, so as the hostess you’re going to want to try keep that to a minimum. You’re the ring-master, so you get to decide what mood the night heads in. If things start getting a little heated (ban the ‘B’ word from the table!) then try change the conversation with some good old nostalgia. Reminding Jack and Jill how they snogged at the last work party is sure to divert convo from the no-go zone.
6. You’re there to host, but remember to have fun! If you’re stressing about the crunch of your parsnips and how set your cheesecake is, your guests are going to pick up on your bad vibes. If you’re happy, they’re happy. So fuck the parsnips, pour yourself a glass of wine and let them burn. They actually taste quite nice pretty toasted anyway.
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