How to Successfully Host a Holiday

“I cook my turkey the old fashioned way … I have my mom do it.”

That quote speaks to my soul. It’s not that I’m a terrible cook or the world’s worst hostess it’s just that my mom is WAY BETTER at it. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Hosting a holiday for the first time was scary for me. Sometimes cooking for just myself and my husband is exhausting so, I couldn’t imagine the thought of hosting for my family. Not to mention the need to execute the traditions well. I’m sorry but, if something doesn’t taste just as it did for all the years prior, the holiday is ruined.

That’s a lot of pressure!

I finally bit the bullet, though, and hosted. To my surprise, I didn’t hate it. Now I look forward to hosting every Christmas Eve and actually consider it fun. Who am I?

No doubt the holidays will look different this year but, I hope, if you find a way to safely host your loved ones, you do. I called in the big guns for this blog, a hostess with the mostest, if you will. My Momma. Holidays at her house are so much fun, delicious and have everyone looking forward to returning year after year. I picked her brain to see what a seasoned holiday hostess would give a rookie like me for advice.

Here are some of her ingredients for a successful holiday:

Do As Much Work As You Can Ahead of Time
It’s important to enjoy the party, even when you are hosting. The more you get done beforehand the more you can live in the moment with your guests. I’ve seen her and my dad do everything from peeling potatoes to setting the table days before the party. Every little item you can check off that “to-do” list ahead of time will make a difference.

If Someone Offers to Help or Make Something, Let Them
No heroes allowed. Let others help! When you are expecting a large crowd (or even a small crowd), an extra appetizer or dessert can go a long way. Don’t feel like you have to do every little thing. Accept the help.

Ice, Ice Baby
I think this is probably the most looked over need at a party. ICE! I know I’ve had a couple of parties myself and had to call someone to bring ice on their way. Make sure you’re stocked and don’t run out. Steady flowing drinks means happy guests!

Write it All Down
Once the chaos of the day/night is done, a couple of days later, grab a journal and write down the details. Write what food was the most popular and you should make more of next year, which didn’t really get eaten so you can make less. Write down which beverages were most popular and roughly how many guests were in attendance. It’s not only a memory to look back on but, it will ensure you are prepared for next time.

Relax and Enjoy
While it can be very stressful to put on a holiday, it needs to be something you enjoy. Learn to laugh at the snafus (there will be some) and remember the mess can be cleaned tomorrow. Enjoy your family and friends.

Remember It Truly is a Gift From the Heart
The last thing my mom said was that hosting is a gift from the heart and, I have to say when I heard her say that I knew exactly what she meant. When we are at her house, even if it’s just Tuesday night dinner, we feel the love. We could have the crappiest food (though we never ever do), the worst drinks (another thing we never have) but every time we are at my parent’s we feel so much love and have so many laughs.

So, with that being said .. should I give her back Christmas Eve?

Happy Hosting & Holidays, friends!

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