Hosting Holiday Gatherings at Home
The holidays are just around the corner, and hosting a holiday party with family and friends is something most parents and grandparents look forward to. Being able to open up your home to loved ones, especially after dealing with the pandemic for a few years, can bring a lot of joy and happiness during the holiday season.
If you want to host a holiday gathering of your own this year, it’s never too early to start preparing. Taking care of certain things now can make life less stressful as the party gets closer.
Let’s take a look at a few easy ways you can make hosting a gathering easier and less stressful as we step into the holiday season. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can create an event your family and friends will love. You might even end up kicking off a yearly tradition that everyone looks forward to.
Not sure how to get started? We’ve got you covered.
Making a List and Checking It Twice
One of the easiest ways to prepare yourself and your home for a holiday party is to make a list of everything that needs to get done. It should include things like:
- Purchasing and hanging decorations
- Creating a holiday music playlist
- Developing a menu and purchasing food
- Having a few festive drinks available
- Games for adults and kids
- Gifts and treats
Not only will a list make it easy to get things done, but it will ensure you don’t forget anything important. As you cross off each item, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment, and find the motivation to get to the next task. It’s not too early to start putting this list together, especially if you need to buy new holiday decor or send out invitations quickly. Starting things now also gives you an opportunity to ask your friends and family about any allergies or food sensitivities they might have, so you can plan a safe menu for everyone.
Preparing Your Home
You’ll want to make sure your home is warm, comfortable, and inviting for your guests. While holiday decorations and a little extra time spent cleaning and decluttering is a start, this could be a perfect time to consider any home upgrades and repairs you’ve been putting off.
Simple updates can actually make your home warmer and more comfortable while reducing some of your utility bills. If you don’t want to tackle any major projects right now, consider installing a smart thermometer. They’re great for controlling the temperature even when you’re not at home. You can also program them to run at different temperatures during different times of the day. Other ways to control the temperature of your home include:
- Maintaining your HVAC system
- Keeping your curtains closed
- Checking your insulation
- Sealing windows and doors
Many home upgrades can also be incredibly eco-friendly, including changing to LED lighting or investing in energy-efficient appliances. While making your home more eco-friendly can be an investment upfront, you’ll end up saving money on utilities, and you can have peace of mind in knowing you’re doing something positive for the planet. People tend to use a lot more electricity around the holidays thanks to lights and decorations, so cutting back on your energy usage at this time of year can make a big difference.
You can even carry over those sustainability practices during your party by using recyclable dinnerware, avoiding single-use plastics, and encouraging your guests to recycle things like wrapping paper.
Taking Care of Yourself
While holiday gatherings can be a bit of work, planning one should also be enjoyable and exciting. This time of year can be stressful enough when you fill it with shopping, cooking, and heading out to other parties and events. Don’t burn yourself out just to put together the perfect party.
Take time for yourself to enjoy the season, and practice self-care as much as possible. Watch a classic Christmas movie with a cup of cocoa, cook an old family recipe that takes you back to your childhood, and don’t forget to stay as active as you can. Depending on where you live, winter might be cold and snowy, but there’s no reason you can’t get outside to enjoy things like cross-country skiing, ice skating, or even sledding with your kids or grandkids.
It’s also a good time to practice stress-reduction techniques. Consider trying meditation, mindfulness, or yoga to manage your stress levels and get through the season calmly. By starting these habits now, you can carry them with you into the new year and beyond, benefiting your health long after the season is over.
Hosting a holiday gathering at your home is a fantastic way to bring your loved ones together and appreciate the joy and warmth the season has to offer. Keep these ideas in mind to make the process easier on yourself, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor during the event – perhaps with a cup of eggnog in hand!
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