Christmas time is such a special time of the year. The joy of of the season is in the giving and the greatest gifts to share this joy with is family and friends. This year, I’m not planning on travelling but will probably do some cooking at home with family. I know handling people over the Christmas doesn’t feel like the usual thing you do with guests because of how grand Christmas turns out to be. There’s more of visitors, more of cooking, more of cleaning and as a host you’ve got to plan really well. Most importantly, your guests expect you to be accommodating. I’ll be sharing a few tips that I believe will be helpful to me and you so your guests feel at home. Hopefully you can spread some Christmas cheer to them too.
Prepare recipes ahead of time
Think about your menus ahead of time so you can start collecting the recipes instead of waiting for the day. This will help you shop in time or do the marinating before or even go to the market before. That means you’ll have some more time to attend to guests. Although Christmas has much to do with good food, remember your visitors need to enjoy your company as much as they enjoy your food.
Buy ready made
There are items you’ll want on your list, but won’t have time for. Instead of struggling to do the baking you can pre-order a cake from a bakery. Instead of slaughtering a live goat or chicken, you can have it done at the meat stalls for you. It’ll be way easier.
Ask about special diet requirements
If you are hosting different guests, it’ll be nice of you to consider that some may have special dietary needs. You may have aged parents who have conditions like diabetes and may not enjoy sweetened meals. Others, like younger children, may also not prefer spicy food so have foods that cater for their needs. A good host will care enough to find out.
Organise your playlist
Have some nice music that everyone including the young and old can enjoy. Delegate this function to a member of the family who has a good musical ear. Do not have a DJ spoiling the Christmas spirit for the rest of the guys. Think about it, what’s a party without good music?
Lay the table
If we are going to be celebrating Christmas as a family then let’s eat together. Count up your dishes, plates, cutlery and glassware and get them cleaned. If you notice you’ll be needing more, you can consider borrowing or going shopping early enough. Let your guests feel that you had prepared well enough for their coming.
Set up a drinks area
A separate area for drinks helps to keep traffic and clutter out of the kitchen especially, if children are involved. Also, having your guests help themselves to a drink of choice makes it easy for them to feel welcome. Keep it simple and take care that alcohol (if any) is not available to be consumed by the children.
Bring on the fun
Involve your guests in the planning of activities or the Christmas shopping. If you have children coming over to visit, suggest they bring along their games or toys. You may also want to set up a play area in the compound or children’s bedroom so they can enjoy their time away from home.
Share the load
If guests insist on helping to clean up, please accept. People like to feel useful. there’s no need to complain that you are fatigued from all the cooking and washing and then not accept help. After all your guests wouldn’t want to feel guilty of burdening you.
Keep the rooms clean and tidy
Some guests will be staying with you for some days. It’ll be kind of you to give them a clean place to sleep. Consider de-cluttering and organising their sleeping area. Air the blankets, mattresses and pillows. Have the sheets laundered and ironed (if possible). Make sure the room is mopped clean. You can even add on some flowers and a welcome card plus toiletries such as towels in the room.
How else can we make our guests feel welcome during this festive season?
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