Val's View: Tips for Entertaining Family
Posted on 24 December 2021
“Families are like branches on a tree. We all grow in different directions but our roots remain as one.” Anonymous
During the holidays, we have a chance to come together and share precious moments. Each of our families is encouraged to make time to reconnect. An excellent way to help these roots flourish and stay strong is to try and create a favorable environment. One way to achieve that is to find a balance between entertainment and relaxation. Keeping your expectations realistic can take the pressure off and set the vibe for drama-free enjoyment.
Seating and Setting
An attractive presentation for your guests is a wonderful way to harmonize the troops and create a nice mood, but try to surrender any perfectionism and keep it simple. You can even have fun and get creative with a theme or activity:
- A seating switch during dessert
- A white elephant gift exchange
- A spread of traditional foods from your lineage
Take a Trip to Yesteryear
“The hostess with the mostest” is the one having a nice time. Wear festive yet comfy attire like the Sleeveless Wide Leg Jumpsuit by Tiana B. As far as decor, don’t be afraid to go with mix and match place settings- the eclectic look is so in-style. Crystal-cut candy dishes and punch bowls are a blast from the past, and glassware and fancy dishes bring elegance. Setting the table the day before is a huge timesaver. Centerpieces with runners of foliage, hanging snowflakes, and pre-lit wreaths are inexpensive and easy. Pick up some scented candles with homey fragrances, like pine and cinnamon. We have a rosemary bush that is shaped like a mini Christmas tree- it provides all-in-one decoration and scent. For a classic touch, fresh hand towels and fancy soap for the bathroom are musts.
Stay flexible with any last-minute RSVPs or cancellations. Hostessing can be stressful so avoid burnout by tackling your list of errands early. Don’t overbook yourself! Utilize online delivery- it’s a great option for time crunches. Make a playlist of your favorite holiday music ahead of time to create a merry ambiance the day of.
Spread Out to Spread the Love
Keep the flow moving by setting up a no-cook app station (crudites with dips are a healthy option). Free up kitchen space by making a chilled drink station. There are plenty of interesting vessels out there such as large metal coolers with legs and old-fashioned ice buckets. A dessert station complete with a hot cocoa bar featuring tiny marshmallows and peppermint chips will delight the kid in all of us.
Above all, remember to speak words of encouragement and foster quality family time. Plan some activities that your household members can choose to participate in. Stargaze on an after-dinner walk. Play a group game of cornhole golf, which keeps you engaged without vegging out in front of the TV. If some people want to just chill, that's fine too. A couch nap can be amazing when you need a reboot. Lots of decompression should be the goal. Winding down the year is important and even delegating the party clean-up is a great way to wrap up 2021 and relax.
Most families resemble a kind of circus. To release control of outcomes and fly on the unpredictable trapeze is both frightening and thrilling. If someone misbehaves (which is inevitable), have a time-out card ready for them to go hang in the guest room for a bit. You can always try humor to diffuse any unruly energy. However, your holiday swings, trust the momentum of the pendulum of life. What matters most is that we have the time to reflect, connect, and relate.
I hope you and your family have an amazing time this holiday season! Comment below to let me know any tried-and-true tips you have for fun family gatherings.