Every year, one house hosts family events. For decades, the host may have been a beloved parent or grandparent, but these duties eventually pass on from one generation to the next. Sometimes, one member of the next adult generation will become the primary hosting place; sometimes, siblings and cousins take turns for a long time.
One thing is certain; when it's your turn to host, you want to do it up right. Being the host means welcoming family as guests, orchestrating the feast (and other snacks and meals) and turning your home into a temporary event space for the whole family.
But you also want to keep your sanity and your sense of territory when family fills every corner of your home. Here are a few essential tips to make your family hosting a great experience for everyone.
Have the Feast All Planned Out
Step One: Plan the feast. The most important job of the host is to orchestrate the cooking and serving of the meal. This will vary depending on your family traditions. You may be planning your first big bird roast or every family member might always contribute a dish. Even if your family order everything pre-made, your job will be to assemble it warm and delicious in time for the big dinner.
So make your plans and know how you're going to do it. Have your plans, shopping list, and schedule ready. In fact, doing a test-dinner is a fun idea to share with friends if this is within your first five hostings.
Decorate and Color-Code Guest Spaces
How do you host family in your home without them taking over completely? Color coding! This little trick has been used by parents and hosts for centuries.
Decorate your guest room(s) with a special theme or color that not only makes it look elegant and well-made, but also matches the guest towels, guest plates, and casual guest cups. This ensures that even your youngest relatives can easily identify what they are most welcome to access and enjoy in your home.
Delegate and Orchestrate
Don't take it all onto yourself. Instead, delegate to your relatives. Try to judge what each person can manage. You might ask your absent-minded cousin to bring a storebought pie, while your home-chef sister might be happy to join you in the kitchen. Invite a parent or grandparent to make their generational specialty, and orchestrate getting it all onto the table on time.
Keep track, too, just in case someone falls through or mistakes are made. Have backup plans and be prepared to laugh off one or two dishes every year.
Get the Children and Teens to Help
One of the signatures of a pro host is getting the kids on your side. Prepare fun activities and spaces for the kids, make sure the children's table is pretty sweet, and the children may join you in making the holiday a good one.
Children and even teens are often invested in having a good event and have a good time when taking part as hosts. Give the young people tasks and make the family event a special one for them, while taking some of the weight off your own shoulders.
Plan for the Unwind
Among the best parts of a family gathering is the time spend unwinding together. After a busy day or a big feast, just sitting around slowly eating desserts, sipping hot drinks, and talking is the perfect end to a shared day.
So plan for the unwind. Be prepared to lay out of dessert plates, your pot of simmering spiced cider, and a deck of cards - or whatever best suits your family. Maybe it's comfy chairs and a traditional movie. Maybe it's light drinks and a game of horseshoes outside. Family will remember your hosting fondly if you leave them with a warm, enjoyable unwinding experience.
Distribute Beautifully Packed Leftovers
Last but never least, send everyone home with the ultimate party favor: Leftovers. Slices of pie, portions of special cookies, and of course big tupperware containers of sliced meats and family-sized sides will become tasty lunches for every individual and nuclear family that spits off when the shared event comes to an end.
Perfecting Your Kitchen with Edesia
Family events often center around the kitchen, which is what we're all about here at Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio. Whether you're the family's new host or it's your turn to host this year, we know that a little planning goes a long way. And if you're planning a kitchen with hosting in mind, we have more than a few ideas to help you create a kitchen that welcomes multiple chefs, island snacking, and wow-worthy serving.
Looking for kitchen renovation ideas? Want to share your family adventures? Contact us today!