According to a recent PulteGroup Home Index Survey, 52% of Americans indicate they enjoy hosting holiday gatherings in their home, however 47% believe their house is inadequate and are stressed out by the thought of hosting. On average, we spend $350 hosting parties and get-togethers and that’s not even including presents for your family and friends! Whether you’re worried about space, amenities, or the financial burden of holiday hosting, here are some tips to help you out.
Create more space for guests to interact in your living room
Don’t be afraid to do a bit of feng shui and rearrange your furniture before the party. Move your coffee table or other small pieces of furniture to the sides of your living room to create space. By having the center of your room clear, you open up space for people to talk and mingle easily. Store unnecessary furniture and clutter in the garage. Sometimes the only way to make space is get rid of things.
You don’t have give anything away or toss it in the garbage, just clear it out of the living room so you have space for people, presents and party games. Need places to put out snacks and hold drinks? Opt for standing TV trays to hold food and beverages. They’re easy to move and don’t take up much space which makes them perfect substitutes for big clunky tables.
Accommodate big groups for your dinner party
Most homes have a small dining area that are more like a nook than a room, so don’t use it. There’s no reason to squish into the space for your dinner party just because it has the word “dining” in the name. Move the dining area into your living room or backyard so you can seat everyone together. There will be plenty of room for an extra large table and everyone will be able to eat in the same space.
Don’t have one table big enough for everyone? Use smaller tables and embrace the mismatch by decorating each table differently for a fun, eclectic style. Each table can have a different color table cloth and unique center piece, just tie it together with similar arrangements and themes.
Take the stress out of preparing dinner
Have a potluck. Don’t spend all day slaving away in the kitchen making a full blown feast, just make a part of one. Potlucks are fun because it’s a way for everyone to feel involved and show off their cooking skills. No one has a big responsibility and there are tons of dishes to choose from for those picky eaters.
Keep it classy with cheese and wine. When you throw your party, there’s no need to have a full dinner planned. A simple wine and cheese night is sophisticated, decadent and most importantly fun! Buy a few bottles in bulk to set the tone and ask your guests to bring their favorite vintage to share.
Have it catered. Catering can cost a lot but there’s no need to spend an arm and leg for your food. Low cost and healthy options include Chipotle, El Pollo Loco or Subway. They may not be fancy but they’re crowd pleasers and an easy way to feed your guests.
Finally, the most important thing to remember in order to save money and relieve stress when you’re hosting is to ask for help! Hosting is more fun – and a lot less overwhelming – when you have a cohort to plan it with. They’ve got your back, can help split the cost and help out on the day of with host duties.
Help also comes in the form of borrowing important party pieces. Need extra chairs? Ask your guests to bring folding chairs if they have any. Lacking a good entertainment system to blast your holiday tunes? Have guests use their own hookups for music and place one in each room. Classic Christmas Carols can play in the kitchen and the newest holiday pop album can be reserved for the living room. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, after all it is the season of giving!