Much like the extra care taken with turn down service and pillow mints at luxurious hotels, hosting holiday affairs at home deserves no less attention to detail or care. It’s the little touches, the added extras, that bring the greatest feeling of comfort and welcome. As you open your doors to friends and family this holiday season, we offer our ideas to prepare your home to welcome them with open arms and host a wonderful holiday gathering.
All great first impressions begin with a first look. As your guests arrive, welcome them with a well decorated outdoor entry way to set the mood. A brightly lit door isn’t just inviting, it offers a cozy glow that is perfect for the holiday season. The indoor entry should also be planned with tidings and cheer. If you have a coat closet or other spaces for coats in your entry way, spruce up the area to make room for guests’ outerwear.
From the decorations to the charcuterie tray, props and festive serving pieces will make the difference between the expected and a “wow.” Something as small as fresh holly and berries in a pretty vase says, “I’m glad you’re here”. The same goes for candlelight and anything with an interesting story associated with it, such as the vintage platter your grandmother gifted you when you were first married. If you don’t have family heirloom style pieces, invest in serving pieces that give your holiday table an added statement of elegance and celebration.
Our favorite ‘must-have’ holiday hosting pieces are perfect for any friends and family gathering around the dinner table. Here are our three favorites:
Small, medium and large ceramic or porcelain bowls
Versitle and useful in so many ways, porcelain bowls can be used to serve hors d’oeuvres, snacks, sides, salads, and even entrees. Elegant white serving ware creates a modern tablescape that can be complimented with fun holiday themed serving pieces.
Large wood cutting board
We love when items have more than one purpose. This board is perfect as both a cutting board and a serving piece. Use it to present freshly sliced cheeses, offer hors d’oeuvres, and slice fresh breads to serve during a meal. It is both elegant and rustic, bringing a more natural and earthy feel to farm-fresh favorites like a creamy Humboldt Fog Grande Cypress Grove goat cheese with kumquat basil marmalade.
Glass beverage carafes
Whether serving breakfast, lunch or dinner, beverage carafes allow you to offer a variety of options in a stylish way. Orange juice, apple juice, and mimosas in an all glass carafes for breakfast, water at the table with every meal, or perhaps your favorite sangria recipe in the afternoon with a few bite-size edibles.
If you’re hosting out of town guests for a few overnights, take the time to make your home as comfortable as possible for those traveling from out of town. Special touches like leaving a craft of fresh water and glasses on the night stand, have travel size toiletries available for easily forgotten items, set out fresh floral in their room, and even a local ‘guide book’ that you can fill with your favorite things to do in town (don’t forget to include fun ways to celebrate the holidays in Indianapolis!). Little touches like these let a guest know that they are welcomed and thought of.
Here is some inspiration to make your home a little extra special for your holiday guests:
Leave a key.
Give your guests a key to your home during their visit on its own keychain. This gives your guests (and you!) the freedom to come and go as needed without worrying about if someone will be home to let your guests back in the house.
Stock the pantry.
Of course, you’ll need to shop and plan for the extra people you’ll be hosting. Make sure to ask ahead of time about any food allergies or aversions so you can be prepared in a way that’s tailored to your guests. It’s helpful to also know if they prefer coffee or tea, and be sure to add some of their favorite snacks to your pantry.
Share your favorite holiday hot spots!
Indianapolis has so much to offer during the holiday season, especially in downtown Indianapolis. Encourage your guests to get out and explore your city on their own, or treat them to their own personal tour lead by yourself. Need ideas? Read about our ‘9 Favorite Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Indy.’