For some people with toddlers the idea of hosting friends and family at your home for the holidays could be completely laughable, but for me, this is such. a. win!
Lets be honest, it’s no easy task keeping your toddler entertained, and out of trouble when visiting homes that may not really be child friendly.
Hosting our own dinners or lunches for the holidays gives us the opportunity to be able to actually sit back and enjoy the time with our company. Pretty much anything our child could get into has already been locked away, or broken for good at this point. So what’s the plus side to that? We get to enjoy the festivities without the constant need to be on high alert.
In order to pull of our holiday hosting seamlessly a little bit of planning on the front end saves us a lot of time and frustration on the tail end. It helps to have a few things in place before hand:
- Clean House: We clean house the night before, after our toddler has finished his cycle of demolition. This takes a huge load off the day off. The morning of we are able to spend more time keeping our son occupied in an effort to avoid having everything disassembled and scattered about all over again.
- Meal Plan: I usually ask each guest to bring a dish of their choosing. This is a great help because realistically spending hours and hours…and more hours in the kitchen just isn’t going to happen with my 2-year-old in tow. The dishes I usually make are something I’m at least vaguely familiar with already, and have also been prepped to some extent the night before the gathering if possible. So if I’m responsible for making the mashed potatoes, I may peel and dice the potatoes ahead of time.
- Kid Zone: A kid friendly space out of the main traffic areas is beneficial not only for the children, but for the adults as well. This allows for a bit of space for the children to play as needed, without overrunning the rest of the home and your guests, with blocks, cars, and puzzle pieces. It’s also important to ensure we lock rooms we do not want the children to have access to. This may include bedrooms or bathrooms upstairs or out of sight.
- Clothes: I usually start thinking about what I will wear, as well as what I will be dressing my son in a day or so before our get together. I do this in an effort to avoid pacing around the closet for 15 minutes only to decide I’m not thrilled with any of my choices. Or worse, pulling out pants that are 3 inches too short for my son the only to find out he now has no dress pants to wear that day. We do a lot of our work and play from home, so day-to-day we are usually in our “comfy clothes”. When we are getting together to celebrate a holiday or special occasion it helps to have our outfits picked out and ironed a few days ahead of time to avoid any fashion mishaps. Because these aren’t clothes we typically work or play in we aren’t missing them from our usual clothing rotation. On the day of your get-together it’s nice to be able to just grab and go (downstairs!).
Leave a comment letting me know if you use any of these tricks for a great hosting experience, or feel free to share any of your own hassle free holiday hacks!