The Pack Report

Hosting for the Holidays – During a Pandemic

Holiday parties and hosting family members are some of the events most sought for when the season arises. Though these gatherings are a wonderful time to come together with family and friends, we know there is a great deal of pressure and stress that can come with hosting. It is easy for your guests to tell you they want you to take part in the same fun they do, but you know you will end up too overwhelmed to do so. We are here to send you on your way to create the most immaculate holiday party, while also allowing yourself to enjoy the festivities alongside your guests. Most of us will be tuning in digitally from afar this year, but if you are having a small and safe gathering this holiday season, these are some of our tips and tricks.

  1. Plan Ahead

Our first tip may seem obvious, but it can always be reiterated: plan ahead! There isn’t a simpler way to reduce your stress levels than to have a plan set in place weeks before the actual event. As no-brainer as it may sound, making a list is a great way to ensure you are organized and aware of what needs to be done. This will allow you to feel more secure in your plans and keep you on track to be fully prepared by the time of the event.

Setting a date and time for your guests to arrive far in advance and working backward from there is a way to set a deadline for what needs to be checked off your list. It is difficult to create a timeline of events when the date is still unknown, so getting that checked off first will help everything else run smoothly.

  1. Preparing Food and Drinks

One of the largest aspects of hosting for the holidays is ensuring you have enough to eat and drink for your guests. Begin by checking your cupboards and pantry to find out what you may already have on hand. Then, to alleviate the stress related to having enough food and drinks for your guests, overbuy! It is always better to be overprepared than underprepared, and this will rid the stress related to satisfying your guests’ taste buds.

Preparing food in advance is another great way to make sure you are not trapped in the kitchen rather than socializing with your guests. Casseroles and desserts are great to make the day before. The last thing a guest wants is to rummage through your kitchen in search of a treat, so having snacks available is a great way to ensure guests are content and comfortable.

Another way to create comfort for your guests with items you likely already have on-hand is by having a coffee station. A true sign of a great host is creating comfortability, and having a station set with coffee or tea, cream, sugar, and mugs available when your guests wake up will make them feel as if they’re at a 5-star resort. This also allows guests to help themselves whenever they are needing a pick-me-up.

  1. Have Activities Planned

The idea of your guests being bored at your home may be horrifying to think. Having activities planned is a simple and fun way to ensure you and your guests are beaming with happiness by the end of each day. A cookie decorating contest, hot cocoa craft creation, or simply having miscellaneous games around the house are ways to keep your guests entertained.

Preparing sugar cookies in advance and having a variety of frosting colors and sprinkles will send your guests on a decorating spree. Not only is this fun for everyone, but you also get a tasty treat as a bonus!

Creating hot cocoa jars doubles as entertainment and a take-home gift when your guests head home. Simply grab some mason jars, hot cocoa mix, and marshmallows and let your guests create a tasty craft.

If you don’t have an activity planned for every moment of the day – don’t worry! Often times, guests will be more than happy with simply resting, participating in some light-hearted card games, or listening to holiday music. Don’t feel pressure to constantly have a plan.

  1. Fill the House with Holiday Comfort

Make your guests feel welcome with holiday scents and tunes. Lighting a candle or creating your own stovetop holiday aroma are great ways to have the holiday scents linger through the house. Creating a holiday playlist filled with your favorite mix of seasonal tunes before your guests arrive allows you to constantly fill the house with cheer. Music is not only enjoyable to listen to, but it gives your guests a calm, joyful feeling.

  1. Accept Help!

Once you invite your guests, they are going to offer their assistance whether it be bringing a dish or simply helping you chop onions in the kitchen. Accept the help! As much as you may feel it is your duty to create every meal item on your own, it is perfectly okay to accept help. You will be grateful you did in the end!

At the end of the day, the most important part of your gathering is spreading the holiday cheer and spending time with family and friends. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy the holiday cheer.

Happy holidays, friends!

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