The holidays are just around the corner! If you’re a new homeowner and it’s your first time hosting a crowd for the holidays – or if you’re a seasoned homeowner who is preparing to host holiday festivities again this year – you may be starting to feel the excitement and anxiety that comes along with playing the role of host.

Don’t fret, though! There’s still plenty of time to prepare – and we have a few tips and tricks that will help you ensure that your holiday get together goes smoothly.

Helpful Holiday Hosting Tips to Make Entertaining Easier

There are a few easy ways you can make hosting during the holidays a little bit easier (and a lot less stressful)! Here are 5 of our top holiday hosting tips:

Make a To Do List

If you’re like most people, around the holidays you have a lot on your mind. Sometimes the tasks associated with hosting a holiday gathering can start your head spinning. There are so many things to do, items to remember – it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when combined with the regular hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

That’s why making a to do list is so important!

In the weeks before your holiday get together, start a running list of items you need to keep tabs on. Everything from groceries you need to pick up to household tasks that need to be completed before guests arrive can go on this list. Keep the list somewhere easily accessible and be sure to check items off as you complete them. Re-prioritize the remaining items as appropriate. You’ll be surprised how much this easy strategy can relieve your pre-party stress!

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

Don’t be afraid to ask for some help! Whether it’s asking your kids and spouse to help you with cleaning up the house before the festivities or asking guests to bring appetizers, beverages or desserts along to the party, recruiting some help can make a huge difference.

If guests offer to bring something or assist in some way with your preparations, take them up on it! Remember – if they offered, they most likely genuinely want to help.

You will be amazed how much of a difference a little bit of assistance will make. Many hands make light work, and even a few helpers can significantly lighten your load and make your job as host or hostess much easier.

Simplify the Menu

Sometimes hosts feel the need to prepare something elaborate and fancy when they are cooking for a crowd. Around the holidays, it’s important to remember that this is NOT the case.

You don’t have to cook something outside of your comfort zone to provide your guests with a delicious experience they will remember for years. In fact, attempting to whip up something you’ve never made before might be a recipe for disaster.

Instead, keep the menu simple and straightforward by filling it with some of your favorite meal items that you’ve cooked dozens of times. You’ll be less stressed because you’ll be completely comfortable with what you’re cooking and your guests will love enjoying a meal that has been thoughtfully and skillfully prepared – even if it is something you make on a regular basis!

Set Up The Night Before

One of the biggest stressors of all when it comes to coordinating a holiday gathering is time. Inevitably, there will come a point in your party planning process when you feel like you don’t have enough time to do all of the things you need to do before your guests arrive. The key is to make sure you feel this way well before your guests are due to arrive, when you still have a chance to make up for lost time – not when they are walking up the driveway to the house!

So how do you make sure that you’re well prepared when it’s time for your party to start? Do as much as you possibly can ahead of time, and – most importantly – set up for the party the night before the event. This will ensure that you can focus on coordinating the final details on the day of and, even if you’re feeling short on time in the hours before your guests arrive, it will give you one less thing to worry about when you’re scrambling around.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Holiday parties and gatherings rarely go off without a hitch. If you are expecting to pull of a completely flawless get together, you’re bound to be disappointed.

Instead of stressing about every last detail of your holiday party, take a deep breath and reset your expectations. Realize and embrace the fact that your party will likely be perfectly imperfect. Understand the fact that some things are just out of your control and roll with it. Do your best not to sweat the small stuff – or the big stuff – and you may be surprised just how much more you are able to enjoy the party.

Entertain Like a Pro This Holiday Season

Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth time hosting a holiday gathering, these tips will help you host a holiday gathering your friends and family will enjoy and remember for years to come. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the party yourself, even if you’re hosting it!

Looking for more tips as you prepare for hosting at your house this holiday season? Check out our post 10 Tips for Entertaining at Home for more ideas that will help you host a stress-free party!

Wishing you had a home in the Capital Region that was perfect for entertaining this holiday season? We can help with that too. At Heritage Custom Builders, we specialize in building custom homes in Upstate NY. Our team can work closely with you to construct a home you’ll love to entertain in, with all the features you’ve been dreaming about.

Give us a call today at (518) 348-0931 or contact us online to get the conversation started!