Planning to host holiday gatherings this year? The process doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are 6 easy ways to simplify hosting.
Whether or not you’re a planner, it’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season!
- Thanksgiving is two weeks away.
- Christmas is six months away.
- The new year will be here in less than two months.
If your next eight weeks are anything like mine, they’ll start to fill up with get-togethers. Your schedule – and hopefully your home – will be filled with spending time with others.
This reality may be exciting – or overwhelming – for you.
Why should you host a gathering at this time of year?
If you’re working toward creating a haven – both personally and in your home – this time of year is ideal!
In fact, if inviting others into your life and home ever feels intimidating, the next eight weeks are a natural time to get together. Regular commitments slow down and people make more margin for relationships.
Even if you want to invest in relationships and create a haven this November and December, it may seem tricky. But don’t panic! I want to make it easier for you to host others this holiday season. Here are six ways to simplify hosting:
6 ways to simplify hosting at the holidays
1. Know who you’d like to invite. And know who you should invite.
Make your list of people you’d like to spend time with.
So your December schedule isn’t overfilled, decide who you really should see. Can any of the get-togethers wait until January?
Sometimes, you just can’t help it – your days and nights fill up with your favorite people. Since Christmas comes but once a year, this is OK.
2. Look at your schedule.
Once you know who you’d like to get together with, find your available days and times of day.
When can you get together for a breakfast, brunch, or lunch? Which people do you want to sit down to dinner with? Who could you meet over appetizers or desserts?
3. Start coordinating schedules and plans.
Yes, it’s really early in the season. But if you can start setting aside dates now, you’ll make sure you can see the people you want to spend time with.
Remember that surprises will pop up – you’ll probably spontaneously get together with people right around Christmas. But if at all possible, start getting dates on your calendar now, especially if you’re getting together with lots of people.
4. Once you’ve set a date, decide details.
If you’re hosting a get together, think about where you’ll meet and, if possible, what to serve.
To make your life easier in December, start making lists now. Use one notebook for all of your plans, and list the date and time of the event, and what you’d like to serve.
If you have a lot of time, start looking through recipes and making shopping lists now. That way, when December hits and you’re running to dozens of places every day, you won’t have to fit one more thing into your busy schedule.
5. Know what you need to do.
If you’re hosting get-togethers at your home, decide what needs cleaned and decorated.
The good news about cleaning for company is that you don’t have to wait until the last minute. You can break up your big cleaning jobs and start working on them now, long before company arrives.
To help you figure out exactly what to clean before you’re hosting company and exactly when to do these cleaning jobs, I’ve created A Cleaner Home By the Holidays. This program will help you transform your messy house into a home that’s clean enough to welcome guests – all in just 12 days. To get your home ready in time for Christmas, the program begins soon. For details, click here!
While you can start working on cleaning your home for company now, only think about how you’d like to decorate your home:
- If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, you can start decorating now.
- And if you’re hosting Christmas, you don’t need to pull out your decorations yet. Just remember what you have to work with and make a wish list of decorations to look for when you’re out shopping.
Just like your meal plans and lists, you can make cleaning and decorating to-do lists in your notebook. That way, everything will be in one place. And when Thanksgiving and Christmas come, you can work your plans.
6. When the time is right, work your plan.
Keep an eye on the notes you’ve made.
Do as much ahead of time as possible – whether it’s cleaning or shopping or gathering plates or creating a playlist. Certain things can’t be done until the day of your get together – or even a few hours ahead of time.
Make sure you start working on the things you can accomplish earlier.
On the day before your get together, make sure you’ve prepared everything. Know what needs to be done right before your guests arrive. Do as much preparation as possible in advance, though.
And the day of your get together? Set the table. Prepare the food.
About an hour before your company arrives, make sure:
- Your kitchen is picked up.
- You’ve done a quick clean of your bathroom.
- You light candles or start your diffuser for a welcoming scent, turn on some music, and put the finishing touches on your food.
Now you’re ready to host your holiday gathering!
By following these six steps, your holiday gatherings will be easy to host. You won’t have to stress about last-minute decisions or details, and you can enjoy the season with much less stress!
When you’re planning holiday gatherings, what works well for you? What details are you always sure to include? What handy hosting secrets can you share?
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