One of the best parts of marriage is the beauty of two families coming together. However, that doesn’t help to alleviate any stress during the holiday season. Before you were married, you most likely split the holidays between your two families respectively, now, you might be preparing to be the hostess for the first time. It can be stressful to have your family over for the first time, especially your in-laws, but we are here to help. Today we are equipping you with the tips you need to host your family for the holiday season.
Plan It Out
Try to plan way in advance if your family is going to be coming to your house or not. I would suggest several weeks, if not months in advance. That way, you don’t have to run around the grocery store like a chicken with your head cut off, just because your family announced they were coming to your house two days before Thanksgiving. If you are a more organized person, make sure that you understand what the members of your family are doing well before you have to cook. However, if you and your family are more go with the flow type of people, you might not mind flying by the seat of your pants into Thanksgiving.
Make Sure You Have Space
Before you commit to having anyone over, make sure that you have the proper space to host and accommodate people. For example, can you only fit one set of parents? Then make sure that your in-laws won’t be offended that they aren’t invited. Can you have seven people stay the night at your house, or not? Make sure you and your spouse have discussed these decisions before you ask your entire family to your tiny one bedroom apartment.
Switch On and Off
Talk openly with your spouse about when/if he expects to see his parents during the holiday season. It might be best to switch on and off whose house you go to or have over for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Easter, etc. That way no one’s feelings will be hurt.
Don’t Cook It All
The Thanksgiving meal can only be described as a feast. Don’t put it all on yourself to cook that entire dinner, turkey, stuffing, and all. Make sure that the family coming to you is pitching in, in some way. That could be as simple as bringing the pumpkin pie or a veggie tray. If you are not the pioneer woman in the kitchen, don’t be embarrassed, ask the family to help you. Your mom has made Thanksgiving dinner millions of times, don’t be afraid to have her come over a couple of hours early to walk you through the basics. If you really can’t cook, your guests will thank you.
Don’t Cook All At Once
Make sure that you take time to mix things up, prepare desserts, and any other parts of the meal that you can before the day of Thanksgiving or Christmas. The turkey is going to take the majority of your attention the day of Thanksgiving, so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to focus on that. Once again, don’t be afraid to have several people in your kitchen helping to complete the meal. Who knows? This could be a great way to catch up and bond with your family.
Leave The Dirty Dishes
The key to being a great hostess is being a present one. You don’t want to spend the whole day tucked away in the kitchen and not being able to enjoy yourself. Try not to worry so much about the little things. Like clearing the table, and polishing all the dishes right away. You can let the food sit out for a little bit instead of frantically clearing it and packing it up so you can sit down. Sometimes we can be our own biggest obstacles, so make sure that you let some of those little things go so that you can enjoy time with your family this holiday season.
Have Games Just In Case
It doesn’t hurt to have some board games set aside for before or after dinner. Maybe your family doesn’t watch that much football, or you want to interact more. Board games are the perfect way to blend families together.
Put The Cell Phones Down
Now, I am not saying that you should miss out on some of those great holiday photo opportunities, especially capturing that dinner you just slaved over, but don’t let your phone be the focus. Don’t be so busy checking Instagram and texting your friends that you don’t live in the moment. During the actual dinner, make an effort to have everyone put their phones away. They won’t need them as you have food and fellowship.
After you have pulled off hosting your own family, or worse your in-laws, take a well-deserved break. Sleep for 12 hours, stay in your pajamas all day, and don’t put on any makeup. You deserve to rest after all the labor you put into making this holiday possible.
In conclusion, hosting people for the first time as a married couple can be intimidating. But, I hope that these tips can help get you started! Whatever you do for this holiday season, I hope it is excellent and tasty!