We made it. We made it through our first hosting experience ever over Thanksgiving. I may have a few knife wounds and a new found hatred for ironing Crate and Barrel napkins, but I’m here in one piece. I learned a lot in the process. So here is a millennial’s guide to hosting for the holidays. One holiday down, one to go…
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed
At first, it can feel super exciting to host a huge dinner, especially if it’s your first time! Then, the overwhelming feeling of anxiety usually creeps in. Do I have enough room? What will I cook? What ingredients do I need? Where will I find the time to clean and get my life together? These are all normal questions! And no, you won’t find the time to get your life together. Trust me. At this point, it’s best to start making a list of all the things you need to accomplish and start delegating tasks. Don’t go at everything alone.
It’s normal to want to buy shit
After the overwhelming feeling leaves and you’ve delegated the tasks to other people (mom, pissed off boyfriend, crazy aunt, etc.), it’s time to think about what you’re going to need. Before we hosted, we upgraded to a huge dining room table found here on CB2. Now, not everyone has the ability to upgrade on a whim, but we were personally due. Focus more on the little things. Upgrade to cotton napkins from paper towels and consider some new wine glasses. All the little details are what make the meal special!
It’s normal to let your soul die a little while ironing napkins
If you buy cotton napkins, be prepared to iron them and wonder what your life has come to. In that order.
It’s normal to need a coffee before you accept relatives into your home
May I suggest La Colombe’s new canned latte? 100% guaranteed to make you forget about any comments relating to your lack of children, career, politics, and choice of couch pillows. On a serious note, it’s really good coffee!
It’s normal to feel like not everything turned out perfectly
You’ve made the food, you’ve delegated, you’ve spent money on decorations, furniture, and overpriced napkins, and you’ve even watched a YouTube video on how to properly set a table. When it’s all said and done, nothing ever goes as planned. Don’t feel bad when grandma and grandpa are still fighting over the last turkey leg, or the entire experience has come and gone too fast. Even if you don’t have the perfect furniture, the gathering of family and friends is all that matters.
It’s normal to get a little tipsy on your big day
I mean you ironed napkins goddammit. That deserves a glass of wine, or three. Note: always be prepared to provide your guests with garnishes for their drinks. For example, people go batshit crazy over a good gin with a garnish of grapefruit and rosemary. You’ll seem super fancy and impressive as a host. Then, get drunk and bask in your impressiveness, totally avoiding the last thing I was saying.
It’s normal to forget about candles
Candles go overlooked. I’m sorry, but they do. Everyone loves a good scented candle. Select a few nice candles and have them lit before everyone arrives. I used this one.
It’s normal to slave drive your Echo
Sorry, Alexa. But grandpa thinks you’re fun and fascinating. However, a little music during dinner never hurt. The mark of a great host! I played Frank Sinatra. Choose something that everyone will enjoy, and do beware of the ‘Thanksgiving Drive’ playlist on Spotify unless your family is keen on ‘Go Flex’ by Post Malone.
It’s normal for other people to clean up
This is by far the best part of hosting. Everyone fakes feeling bad for you and offers to clean up and do the dishes. Do not take this offer lightly. Jump at the offer! If you hesitate, the offer will be rescinded quickly. At this point you can finally relax and pat yourself on the back, because you made it through hosting for the holidays!
I hope you found this helpful, and, well, lighthearted and a little funny. My first experience with hosting was a definite success, and I cannot wait to do it again!
Have you ever hosted for the holidays?