At this time of year there is so much talk and information about hosting, and how to host a party, and how to be a good host and on and on, that it can be a little overwhelming and you sometimes get a feeling of “enough already”!

Because we tend to do so much entertaining during the holiday season, it becomes ripe opportunity to give hosting tips and advice that, hopefully, can stay with you and be used all year through in every party or get together you do.

I believe that being a good host is of the utmost importance.

I mean it.

If you are hosting a party, asking people to attend, then you must make it as welcoming and fun as you can.

But, being a good host takes practice and it often doesn’t come naturally to most.  Even the most social and cool people need a few reminders about  good hosting. How you entertain shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable or different than who you are, but specific, easy, no-brainer things should always be done by you no matter what your personality or entertaining style is.

So, okay, here we go, are you ready? I’ll give you my top tips, in no particular order, and with minimal explanation (they should be pretty self explanatory).

  1. Welcome every guest.  Meet them at the door, take their coat, bring them in.  Do this, every-time.
  2. Have coats in an area close to the door, whether that be an office at your entryway, a closet at the door or even a coat rack close to the exit. Do not put coats in a bedroom on a bed. This is not high school and your guests deserve to have their coat hung.
  3. Introduce your guests. You don’t have to stop the party and say “everyone, this is Dan, please say hello”, but you should make some small introductions so that your guests will start to feel comfortable and can engage by themselves, leaving you free to mingle.
  4. Mingle.  Move around the party, making introductions or little anecdotes along the way. Don’t get stuck interacting with just one person, your other guests will feel slighted.
  5. Make sure music is constantly playing. No music, no atmosphere.
  6. Keep drinks flowing. Not just alcohol, but water, punch, soft drinks.  Hydration is important.
  7. Have food available right away.  Whether you are having a sit-down dinner or a cocktail reception, have something available to your guests for when they arrive.  That could be interesting nut mixtures, cheese and crackers, crudites….whatever.
  8. Never let them see you sweat.  Your guests don’t need to know about what issues happened before they arrived, or what’s frazzling you now. You want them there to enjoy themselves, so let them.
  9. Be available for your guests when the party is winding down for them to say goodbye and to thank you, and for you to thank them for coming.
  10. Enjoy, smile, laugh.  Remind yourself that YOU can have a good time too!

Everything else will fall into place.

photo source: Inspired Design


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