Up until recently I avoided hosting people at my house like the plague. I always had a reason – my apartment is too small, I didn’t want to make anything, I didn’t want to clean up and people being loud in my building was way too stressful. I’m not what you would call a rule breaker. However, this year I have started flexing my hosting muscle and I have to admit that I actually love it! Of course, having great people in your life is 90% of it, but I also love the planning and executing part. This holiday season, I’m sure many of you are hosting friends and family and some of you may not have ever done it before. I am no pro by any stretch of the imagination, but here are 3 things I have recently learned about hosting people.
Be practical. For a long time I thought it was impossible to show people a good time because our apartment is very small. My boyfriend and I share a studio apartment that is basically one room with a bed in the middle. While I love our place, I was always worried about where people would sit (and secretly hoped it wouldn’t be on my bed). That’s why I learned that setting the right vibe of your party is all about practicality. Always make sure your space is clean and you have plenty of seating for your guests. These Morroccan Poufs are a great way to do just that. Nothing is worse than people standing around unsure of where to be.
Be prepared. When we have people over, we usually start at our apartment then head out for a drink a few hours later. Therefore, people start filtering in around 7 or 8pm -having already eaten. For that reason, I never prepare anything too time consuming or stressful (dinner parties are a whole other beast I haven’t tackled yet). However, I always have snacks and drinks for my guest. My go-to is hummus, fresh vegetables, homemade guacamole, chips, and olives or nuts. I like to make my own appetizers (minus the hummus), but since many of these items come pre-made at the grocery stores, having them ready for your party is so easy. The other thing I do is pick one or two classic (and simple) drinks and have those ingredients on hand. My boyfriend drinks whiskey, so we will grab a bottle of that and maybe some ginger ale for those who don’t drink it on the rocks. Also, a martini is a great option to have on hand and instead of sitting in the kitchen making each drink, I make a big batch ahead of time (about an hour or two before) then keep it nice and cold in the freezer until party time.
Have fun! There is nothing worse than having people over and being panicked the whole time. Not only are you not having fun, but your guests will feel like they are a burden and your party will suffer. Before your guests arrive, it will be stressful at times and you will feel like you’ll never get everything done. Trust me, it doesn’t matter! Remember your guests are your friends! Everybody is just happy to be out spending time together. Do the best you can, keep your expectations reasonable and allow yourself to relax once your guests arrive. Hosting can be daunting, but I think that if you give it a try (no matter what excuses you’ve imagined), you will find that it is actually quite fun. The best part is, you don’t have to leave your house!