Over the holidays, you’ll probably have visitors and you’ll want to make them feel welcome. Hosting a great party or family get-together and ensuring everyone has a good time takes planning and ingenuity.
Follow these 7 steps and you’re sure to become a great host, attend to your guest’s needs, and keep everyone safe.
Don’t Go It Alone
Whether you’re planning a small get-together or a large event, don’t go it alone. The holiday season is busy, so ask others to assist you or hire a professional to lighten the load.
You don’t need to cook every dish or pick up extra chairs and tables yourself. Hire a caterer, buy a few pre-made dishes, have a rental company drop off what you need, and consider a cleanup crew. Designate a family member as a server, valet, or coat check person.
You don’t need to spend a bundle to create a festive mood. Fresh pine or cedar branches adorned with a red ribbon add a wonderful aroma and a warm, inviting traditional feel.
Mix up your place settings and add colorful plate chargers. They’re dirt cheap, practically indestructible, and reusable. Poinsettias, vases with sprigs of holly, and candles create ambiance affordably.
Overnight guests often forget to bring things with them. Ensure they have a USB charger in their room, and give them your Wi-Fi password. A small basket with water, snacks, soap, and shampoo can go a long way, too.
Leave guests with plenty of towels, put extra hangers in the closet, and set a chair in the room to use while dressing or unpacking. Hang a few bathrobes in the washroom and don’t forget the candles and bath oils, too. It doesn’t take much to make that guest bedroom feel like a spa retreat.
Crank Up The Comfort
When your home’s crowded with overnight guests, you may not have a bedroom for them all. However, sleeping on an inflatable mattress can be a luxurious event, provided you handle things well.
Try to separate the area where your guests sleep with a room divider or temporary curtain. Top the mattress with foam, add high-quality linens, and toss on plenty of fluffy pillows and a cozy duvet for added comfort.
Don’t Fuss Too Much
A great host doesn’t stress over every little detail. They plan beforehand, and then let the event unfold. Rushing around fiddling with everything certainly doesn’t put people at ease, and it does nothing for you, either.
Enjoy yourself. A sunny disposition sets a festive mood and mistakes usually lighten the mood, instead of ruining the party. Don’t start cleaning until everyone’s gone. Better yet, let someone else clean up while you relax and chat with friends and family.
Serve Alcohol Responsibly
If you’re serving alcohol during the holiday season, you have responsibilities and face risks. For instance, if you serve alcohol to a guest until they’re over the legal limit and they decide to drive home you could be held liable if the driver has an accident and injures someone. The injured person could sue you under “social host liability” laws.
Most states have these laws, but how they’re applied varies from state to state. Some include criminal charges, while others extend your liability to anywhere your guests go after they consume alcohol on your premises. It’s important to note that Rhode Island holds adults civilly and criminally liable if they serve alcohol to minors.
You can take several measures to reduce your risk if you decide to serve alcohol in your home. For example, you could hire a bartender and instruct them to limit consumption if they notice someone drinking too much or too quickly. Otherwise, stay sober and keep an eye on your guests.
Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and food to counteract the effects of alcohol. As your party winds down, offer coffee, tea, and soft drinks instead of alcohol.
Encourage carpooling with a designated driver, or better yet have them take a cab. Of course, you can always put them up in a spare room and eat breakfast together the next day.
Check Insurance Coverage
Limiting your liability is a good first step, but you should also have proper insurance. Discuss the risks with your independent insurance agent. They’ll review your homeowner’s policy and make suggestions for any additional coverages or changes to your policy.
Most policies include some liquor liability coverage and cover some legal fees or damages resulting from the loss of a civil lawsuit, but policy limits are often low. Additionally, punitive damages aren’t covered under your policy, so you’d pay for these out-of-pocket if you lose a lawsuit.