Holiday Hosting

Believe it or not, my father taught me all I know about being a good host. From years of watching him at family gatherings (most notably Thanksgiving and Canada Day), family dinners, or various entertaining evenings, he has set a standard of what it looks like to be a great host.


Regardless if it’s preparing for a big holiday party or a quiet get together, hosting a party is a role that must be filled. The job of a host/hostess serves to help guests enjoy their experience in your home all the more. Guests are just that- Guests. Whether or not your guests have visited your home previously, it is always suitable that each guest feels taken care of. That being said, here are four simple tips to help you become the most hospitable host ever:



This, in my opinion, is the most important step. Without planning, you are running by the seat of your pants and may not present yourself as a good host.

Think about the number of guests you want to invite, the type of atmosphere you want (casual, formal, themed), and of course the food and drink you would like to serve. These factors should all be sorted out before guests arrive.

The planning does vary depending on how detailed of a person you are. The more detailed you are, the more details you will pay attention to and include in your party. Don’t feel bad if you do not resemble Martha she is after all, the Queen. As well, the details of your party will be determined by factors such as the number of guests you have, any chosen theme, and what and how you are serving food.



Upon guest arrival, always offer to take their coats and have a place to hang them (or drape them). As well, inform guests of what they can do with their shoes- do they keep them on or take them off? Once they are free of their coat, offer them a beverage!

This is very important, as well as good manners. Offering guests a drink allow them to more readily adapt to the environment and helps them get settled into the party. For some holiday season drink suggestions, click here.



The job of the host/hostess is not over once all guests have settled in, but continues throughout the night. The ongoing task of replenishing is important for your guests’ experience. Try to keep in mind what each guest is drinking, so that you are able to offer them a refill once their glass is getting low. Of course, for alcoholic beverages make sure to ask guests if they would like a refill before pouring. Keeping the bar well stocked is very important for a smoothly run party. Here is a simple outline for your bar essentials- whether you have a built-in bar area or a make-shift one for the night.


The second part of replenishing is the food. Keep an eye on platters or snacks you have out. Keep crackers filled up so that guests can eat the cheeses and meats you have put out, for example. After all, you want your guests to eat and enjoy the food!


TIP: make sure to have water or another non-alcoholic beverage on hand for those who are not drinking or guests who are driving.



To assure yourself that guests are in fact having a good time, check in with your guests from time to time. This does not mean you have to ask questions like “How are you?” or “Are you doing ok?”, but instead, “Are you hot/cold?” or something more conversational like, “Have you tried the brie yet?” This question brings attention to the food and helps to gage whether or not the guests are enjoying food as well as letting them know that they are welcome to it.



Not all parties are created equal: some parties require a lot of work and planning and others are more casual and straight-forward. Therefore, your hosting role will not be the same for every gathering you have. Click here to see some real tips from Canadian women on their view of being a good host.


Overall, taking on the role of a host/hostess is about making guests feel welcome, comfortable and are treated like a guest in your home. Keep in mind that you can share hosting duties with your partner! Either divide and conquer or collaborate!

So get those pouring skills tuned up, pick up some of your favourite cheeses and get hosting!


For some added fun, click here to see what kind of Party Personality you are!

Happy Hosting!


Alex & Lily

7 comments... read them below or add one


  1. Gillian on December 13, 2014

    Thanks for the helpful hosting tips. Coming into this holiday season, it is great to pick up a few new ideas for my guests. Thanks Alex & Lily

  2. Sue Cooper on December 13, 2014

    All very true! Great to hear you write what you believe and know about!

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    • Allie Cooper on January 19, 2015

      Hi there Patricia,
      Thank you so much! My blog and website are actually all custom made by 3 Crown Creative in Seattle. they have an amazing team there that cover all the bases! You can contact for more info 🙂 Hope that helps.

  4. PatriciaKn on January 23, 2015

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    • Allie Cooper on February 1, 2015

      Hi there! Thank you so much for visiting and for being such a fan! It is wonderful to hear such positive feedback! I would be delighted to extend my services to you anytime 🙂

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