Lists make me happy. I pretty much cannot survive without having one going at all times. To Do List, Grocery List, Christmas List and Bucket List to name just a few! And around the holidays, I absolutely need to have a holiday hosting checklist. It really does not matter if our holiday plans include hosting many guests or just a small group of friends and family, I want to make sure that my home is festive, organized and holiday ready for the season whenever guests arrive!
Holiday Hosting Checklist
Decorate the House
Starting at the front door and working your way in, holiday decorating with fresh greens, sets the tone (and the scent!) of the home! I usually rely on Trader Joe’s for all of our fresh greenery but this year I worked with a local floral designer to help install the greenery in my home. Kirbey from the the Flower House did a beautiful job realizing my vision. Magnolia leaves with touches of blue winterberry against a fresh green backdrop. This was not something I could have done myself and I love to work with local talent when I can!
Stock the Bar
Take inventory of what you have and fill in the blanks. I always make sure to have a couple of bottles of chilled Brut in the refrigerator as well as a few non-alcoholic festive options as well! Tost sparkling beverage was a recent hit. Locally found at Binny’s!
Take inventory of your tables, chairs, plates, cups, napkins and utensils. If you’re short on any items, make plans to rent, borrow or buy extras.
Polish the Silver (LOL!)
I am laughing because it obviously sounds so old fashioned but there have been many times I have reached for a piece of silver to use, only to find it in desperate need of polishing!
Whether it be for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or a festive meal or party during the season, creating menus ahead of time is a huge help. If you’re having your party catered, reach out to vendors in plenty of time before their calendars fill up. If you’re handling the food yourself, go through cookbooks and recipes to plot your menu. For anything new you want to make, try them out first so you can feel confident and ease the stress of having to prepare the dish for the first time.
Make a Shopping List
Once menus are made, make a list of how far in advance each recipe can be made, and compile a shopping list. Place an order with your local delicatessen or bakery, as needed.
Set the Table
At least one meal in a formal setting usually take place in our home during the holiday season. I love setting the table with the china, crystal and silver that only gets brought out for special moments! Each year it is always fun to work in a new twist to give your table personality! I recently bought this book and it is a great resource for table setting in creative ways depending on the occasion! I also want to get my hands on this one recently released, copyright 2019
Prep the Powder Room
Do a once over to make sure it is well cleaned and stocked with fresh hand towels and soap. I like to have linen towels on display but disposable hand towels for washing!
Specify a Place for Coats
Have a plan for coats when guests arrive. Make space in a closet and fill it with hangers. You could also choose a bed for coats or purchase or borrow a portable garment rack.
Make a Playlist
Whether it be having your holiday records dusted off and ready to go or making a festive playlist on Pandora, create easily accessible music to have on hand!
Set the Ambiance
Lighting candles throughout the home is always a good idea but especially so during the holidays! It helps to set the ambiance while bringing in those scents we only associate with this time of year! My favorites are linked below:
Don’t forget to ask for help! Whether it be bartending, catering, helping in the kitchen or collecting coats at the front door, I have come to learn I am much more able to enjoy holiday hosting with the more help I receive.
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