I don’t know about you, but we might as well rename the holiday season “Come over to my house” season. Because, 9 times out of 10, for reasons I can’t quite identify, people gather at my house.
Maybe it’s the surplus of bacon, maybe it’s because I’m a glutton for a messy house, but if there are people to entertain, somehow, I find them.
And because they have lost their minds, Breville has asked me to share my top 5 holiday hosting tips with you. Why are they crazy? Because I am constantly ignoring the advice I give others. I’m all “Be the best, outdo yourself, WIIINNNN” when it comes to holiday parties. And when it’s all over, I ask myself why I put so much pressure on having people over. I wish I could tell you why, but it’s a disease. They call it competition where I come from.
So here goes – The top 5 tips I give you and almost always refuse to follow.
1) KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I am not really sure who coined this phrase first, but I am jealous. It’s so applicable to many things, but it rings true to me for holiday hosting. It means, don’t over extend yourself. Don’t try to make too many complicated things, don’t try and hand write all of those invitations, don’t obsess over minor details that only you will notice. Guests who see their hosts as really put together are generally more impressed than guests who see that their hosts have gone through a lot of trouble to have them over and are frazzled.
2) Don’t drink and host.
I know, GUILTY. It’s just that I tell you this from experience. It’s a running joke that we have people over, and I am too busy too eat because I am socializing or cooking, and the next thing you know, I am three Cabs into the night with an empty stomach. No one likes an accidental drunk host. And you will be embarrassed in the morning, I promise. Just have 1 drink and nothing more, or don’t drink and host at all. (And with that, I have just turned into my mother.)
3) Plan it out.
As in, everything. Make a week long itinerary that details when you buy ingredients, what days you make what dishes, and what needs to be done the day of your event. It makes it easier on you when you know how much needs to be done and how long it will take. You can decorate a few days before to get that off your plate, and focus the few days leading up to cooking. Writing it down makes it so much easier to tackle. There is just something about being able to cross an item off a list. Anything that can make you a relaxed host will help (besides booze.)
4) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For a few years, and heck who am I kidding, even now, I have this complex that I have to do it all myself for it to be impressive. If I ask for help, then I am not as talented or put together as I thought. Here’s the truth: When you invite someone over, they are so happy to be with you and honored to be invited that they genuinely WANT to help you in some way, or contribute something. I know, kindness and holiday cheer and all that jazz. So when a guest asks you “What can I bring?” Don’t be that girl that says “Your smiling face.” Give them something to own.
5) Don’t try a complicated new recipe for the first time at your party.
Again, guilty. I sort of do this a lot, but I always say “Well you know I run the blog and I have to take some risks, so if this doesn’t turn out, we’ll just order pizza.” And I am lucky to not have had any real disasters, although I have had some close calls. Don’t be that girl (or guy) who tries to light something on fire for the first time in front of their guests. Give it a test run first, work out your kinks, and be sure you won’t lose an eyebrow while hosting a party. I once tried to make a gnudi that fell apart while girls were watching me. I laughed and turned it into a dip. I mean, that could have been bad, but not as bad as losing an eyebrow, am I right?
And if all else fails, let the experts help you out!
Breville has released new, time saving products such as the Smart Oven, just in time for the holidays! Take the guess work our of holiday cooking with the Smart Oven, the oven that does the thinking for you. Check out their website for more information on this product and other great gift ideas.
And don’t forget to reply below for two chances to win your choice of amazing Breville products either for yourself or as a gift to a loved one: YouBrew, Tea Maker and Smart Oven products ($250 ARV)