The holiday season is upon us, beginning with Halloween this weekend. While it is fun to get dressed up and go out, the underlying thread to our social activities is that we are relationship people. It is a good thing to catch up with friends and family, to reconnect and keep relationships fresh.
Even though there are sometimes gift giving to charities and those close to us, as a gesture of goodwill or expression of love, hosting and having guests in the home can be overlooked.
Before the menus or shopping kicks in, let’s take a look at making guests comfortable.
Basic Entertaining Tips
People are visual, give the home a bit of a lift by placing a few decorations around the home to give it a festive touch. Depending on the event suitable decorations give a sense of ambience. A cosy throw, if the weather is cool and a few scatter cushions can add sophistication or a homely feel, depending on the atmosphere that is desired.
Music that is softly played in the background fills that quiet dead zone when people start arriving. Either a radio channel that is set on Jazz or a personal collection of music is fine. The only rules are to keep the music suitable to peoples taste, suitable to the event and keep it in the background, unless the dance floor style party is the theme.
A bar or designated drinks area is an excellent touch. Ice is a nice touch and should be organised before the event. Especially if the freezer isn’t huge keeping ice going can be a challenge. A clean 2 or 4 litre ice cream container could hold ice cubes or a cooler/esky might be of use for an evening. The amount of ice needed depends on the number of guests. The key to pulling of a successful bar is to offer a couple of bowls with slices fruit, such as lemons or strawberries, to be added to drinks if so desired. It is best to stick to fruits that won’t brown after a couple of hours.
Enough seating for entertaining could include sofas, chairs and ottomans but even benches and floor cushions add extra comfort. Choosing what suits your tastes and space will equal comfort and success.
Lighting comes down to personal choice. There is no denying it, it adds to ambience plus the lighting chosen for the occasion can reflect personal taste. Lighting chosen correctly will prevent the event from feeling cookie cutter by providing a designer edge. If using colour keep the lighting colours matching to the colour scheme of the occasion.
Long term guests are usually organised in advance. An overnight guest can be an oversight. Several reasons could bring about this situation such as weather or feeling unwell. Having clean linen, spare bedding and a pillow on hand is a lovely touch.
These are the basics to entertaining. For further reading the following articles are a good read;