Being A Happy Hostess

As we are approaching the BIG long weekend of celebrating Christmas. If you are hosting then this blogs for you.
You have the menu, the strategy, the guest list -- the biggest variable left is your stress level, and stress has a funny way of making us morph into those beings (or other B-words) we don't want to be. Relax. Or you could just find yourself behaving like...

The Invisible Hostess
Having failed to start on time, or having decided to make complex, last-minute dishes, you're in the kitchen, alone, all night. Very bad. As is jumping up to start cleaning while your guests are still at the table eating dessert.

The Miserable Faultfinder
Do not tell everyone whats wrong with the food before they even pick up their spoons. "So no one thinks the soup's too salty?" Really, what can they say?

The Rueful Dreamer
You saw a great recipe for Thai-style noodles but couldn't get the lemongrass. You thought about tiramisu, but went with a trifle. Don't tell people what they could have been eating. Most guests will love spaghetti and meatballs, if you don't start raving about some lobster ravioli you saw on TV.

The Insufferable Uberchef
Speaking of lobster ravioli, if the dishes served are very exotic and the wines very fine, let the guests notice it themselves. No bombarding them with gourmet commentary.

The Bickersons
It's a challenge to have people over when you and your husband/boyfriend are in the midst of a squabble, but it happens. No matter what, avoid carping at each other and rehashing any long-running arguments.

My Mom has taught me to do my things ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests. She always set the table and the serving bowls and spoons out the day before. And cooked the turkey and peeled the potatoes ahead of time too.
Think she has taught me a value able thing.
I Read somewhere once that you should give yourself a couple hours to take a bubble bath and relax before your guest's arrive.
Now that I told you all the things not to do. I'm ready to suggest some things that will make your guests feel welcome.
When they enter the front door welcome them by name and tell them your glad they came.
I like to write the peoples last names on a black board that we painted on the wall. For an example: We Welcome and Love the Gray's,Mackey's,Millers and everyone that comes with them!
I usually appoint Allen or one of the kids to take coats and to tell them where you put them.
Also like if Allen says that we are glad to have them at our home before he does the prayer.
When they sit and wait for dinner I like to ask what they'd like to drink and always include water as one of the choices.
If we go cafeteria style I tell my kids before hand that our guests always go first.
Same goes with when you go to eat sit down style. But make sure when you go to eat you have time to sit down and have dinner with them.(this is a area I have room for improvement)
I like to clear dinner plates before dessert.
Another great tip is don't be the first one to get up from dinner table after the dessert. Those are the best conversations when peoples bellies are full and every ones relaxed.
If you can its great to move right from the dinner table to the comfy chairs. The dishes will wait till when they go home. That's a strict rule at my house. Have found it makes me feel loved as my husband helps me after our guests leave.;) Then we discus the topics that were talked about through out the evening, and people that we hosted.
How your mood is, is how welcome your guests will feel.
Also like to have a house that smells like coffee or baking when they enter the front door. I use the candles or melts from Gathering Place. Get a compliment on it every time. It's the butter rum that's my favorite.
Like to have enough comfy chairs for all our guests. Even if it crowds the sitting area.
But no no is to have the TV on unless they game to watch a big game.
Have fun play games that everyone can stay sitting and be lazy but include everyone.
One the games I like to play is I take a ball and wrap it with a whole spool of yarn. Then you hold on to the string but through the ball to someone and tell that person what you like about them. Then on and on as you build a spider web and everyone holds on to the string every time the get the ball then once the web is formed you tell one person then a next to let go of their yarn and you tell them that's how life is if one lets go of the string and doesn't do their part the web isn't beautiful and can't be formed.
Hoping you will enjoy hosting your friends and family this Christmas!
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