Let’s be honest. Hosting can be hard. There are a lot of responsibilities to juggle, people to feed, and timing to coordinate. But, hosting a way better Friendsgiving this fall is a great way to hone your skills as a way better host for any of your coming holiday parties. Friends are forgiving. And helpful. There’s no better way to perfect the timing of your roast or the consistency of your grandmother’s mashed potato recipe than with faithful friends willing to lend a hand in the kitchen.
There are a few easy ways to host a better holiday party. While you may want to look like the greatest lifestyle blogger on Pinterest, stressing out over the smallest details will rub off on the ambiance and end up being more of a nuisance than any perfectly painted pumpkin could have added. Keep it simple. Easy. And fun. With that in mind, here are our top 5 tips on being a Way Better Host.
1. Greet your guests with their beverage of choice right as they walk in. Yes. You are juggling two things on the stove, one thing in the crockpot, meat in the oven, and cooling the perfect chocolate orange cream for dessert in the fridge. But, don’t forget that you’re doing this to enjoy yourself. Hug your friends. Offer wine. Cocktails. Hot cider. People are immediately more comfortable when they have a glass to wrap their hands around. It’ll set the tone for a relaxed, carefree party for the rest of the event.
2. Serve plenty of delicious food. Since you may have greeted your guests with a booze-forward bourbon and cider as they entered the kitchen, you want to soak up all of that grog with frequent, tasty food. Have chips and dip on the table when your guests arrive. Since they will (without fail) all congregate in the kitchen, throw a couple of bowls of Way Better Snacks and dips you made the day prior on the bar or island. It’ll get people snacking and talking so that you can get the rest of the meal done. For our Friendsgiving, we combined cream cheese, greek yogurt, blue cheese, and delightfully sweet caramelized onion for our starting dip. It is super easy to whip together the day before. Just pull it out of the fridge an hour or so before people start to arrive to let it soften for dipping. Serve with Unbeatable Blues for the perfect opening nibble.
3. Don’t refuse help. Whether a week before or the day of, if a good friend offers to refill wine glasses or bring a plate of charcuterie: why say no? People want to help. And if the offer is put out there, do both of you a favor and graciously accept. You’ll have a partner in the kitchen and a more relaxed vibe for the whole party if you don’t attempt to be a master chef one-woman dream team.
4. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic options. No one wants a party of a bunch of drunk people. We love this chamomile mulled hot cider. Make it in a big batch in the crockpot for a super easy house drink. It warms up for a couple of hours before the party, and is delicious with or without spirits. I set out an array of tea cups and a bottle of both bourbon and rum to use at the guest’s discretion. LaCroix in the fridge is always a winner, too! Everyone loves bubbles.
5. Leave the dishes for later. Relax. Sit down. Laugh. You hosted a party so that you can spend quality time with a group of people who are not always together in the same room. Enjoy it. The food has been served. Wine bottles have been uncorked. It’s your time to spend with all of the people that came to hang out. So, do just that. Dishes will always be there tomorrow morning.