Etiquette is a must, yet some holiday rules are too stifling. Break the tight chains of formality and your grandmother’s rules for entertaining, this year. The joy of the season shouldn’t be dampened with out-dated reasoning. We don’t have to do things like our parents did, we only need to keep the traditions we like. Skip the awkward silences, the boring after-dinner talk and have fun. When hosting the holidays at your house, do it your way.
5 Holiday Entertaining Rules and How to Break Them
Give Each Guest a Gift
You may have shortened your gift-giving list this year, but guests coming to you house should each receive a little something. Buy a case of your favorite wine and some fabric wine sacks for surprise guests. Keep a couple of small craft items, from dough to crayons wrapped under the tree. Small tokens and gifts, even small favors, make your guests (even the unexpected) ones feel welcome at the holidays.
Rethink the Kids’ Table
The kid’s table used to be a place set behind the adult’s table, where the parents passed the food after they took theirs. Today’s parents do the opposite. We make the kid’s table the most desirable place to eat the holiday meal, rightly so. Stop relegating the kids to the kids table and let everyone pick their own seats this year, adults and kids alike. The minor mayhem will break the ice encourage more interaction between older and younger family members who may only see each other on holidays.
Use Paper and Cloth Napkins
Guests sometimes treat cloth napkins like the “good” hand towels in the bathroom they’re afraid to use them. Sticklers for etiquette will tell you to never use paper napkins. Use cloth napkins to create a pretty place setting, but set out high-quality, thick paper napkins as well. Guests then have their choice, and you won’t run out of napkins at dessert and coffee time.
Skip the Waiting, Let’s Eat
When inviting guests to your holiday dinner, let them know what time to arrive and when dinner will be served. Serve dinner within 15 minutes (barring any serious kitchen mishaps) of your intended time. Unless someone just texted you that they are driving down your road, don’t let other guests wait too long for the holiday meal. They would rather eat than wait, and your late guests will still have plenty of food when they finally arrive.
Let Guests Help
You budgeted, you planned, you made lists and shopped. You still may have forgotten something important: whipping cream? extra ice? gravy? If a guest calls before their arrival and offers to stop and pick something up for you, let them. The same goes for pre-meal preparations. You may have run out of time and the salad is not made, the table is not finished or the potatoes are not mashed. Except the help when offered, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.