Hosts aren’t the only ones bringing awesomeness to the holiday gatherings. There is an import life giving role that you and I can play as a guest.
How to be a participant and not just a partaker.
Here are some valuable tips for guesting at another’s table during the holidays, or anytime for that matter.
1. If you or your family member have special dietary needs, offer to bring a suitable dish that accommodates those needs. As a host, I like to be aware of my guests dietary restrictions ahead of time. This way, I can provide some alternatives for them, it’s part of being a thoughtful host. However, this is not always possible. So, at a minimum, make your host aware of any restrictions ahead of time.
2. Speaking of bringing a dish… it’s always helpful to plan ahead and have your dish as prepared as possible before arriving. Aside from needing to use an oven or knife, I try and avoid utilizing the host’s kitchen appliances and dishes. Exceptions: if you’re going to your best friend’s house and the two of you have been going with the flow together for at least a century! Also, if you come from a big family… generally it’s chaos and all manner of rules go out the window. If you need some inspiration, you can find my favorite ridiculously easy show stopper of a dessert in this post.
3. Bring some fun! This can be a great approach when you’re looking forward to a gathering, and especially when you’re not. Fun and spontaneity can provide a great buffer to awkward family gatherings and tense situations. Show up with your favorite game, tik tok challenge, or conversation starters. Find some of my favorites that I shared in this blog post.
4. Bring a thoughtful, yet simple hostess gift. Favorite flowers, beverage, seasonal candle, or chocolate, for example. Dearest starter adults… you can participate in this practice EVEN if you’re showing up to mom and dad’s. Take it from your favorite “Aunt Krisi”, it will be worth the shock on their faces!
How to Make Your Host Smile
This is my latest seasonal hostess gift obsession. It’s a gorgeous glass simmer pot. Add some fresh herbs, whole spices, some citrus and a bow and this quickly turns into a thoughtful aromatic gift for your host.
Here’s how I use my simmer pot...
- Slice an orange or whatever citrus you have on hand and add to the simmer pot.
- Toss in a handful of whole spices such as, star anise, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves.
- Add some rosemary or a vanilla bean and fill half way with cold water.
- Simmer on low and enjoy a scrumptious aroma wafting throughout your home.
Pro Tip: I only use my glass pot on medium to low. It may get fussy and crack at higher temps.
Remember, that gatherings are a community affair. Each of us have an opportunity to bring meaning, connection, and joy to these celebrations.
You’re going to crush it!!