How to Shine as a Host
Hosting a social gathering at your home is a great way to bring together all the awesome people in your life. Whether you’re hosting friends, family, colleagues, or a combination of groups, getting everyone together can be rewarding for you and fun for everyone else.
But what makes a social gathering one worth talking about days, even weeks later? (Hint: It’s not Instagram-worthy décor or fancy food.) Here’s what will make your get-together stand out.
Create a Reason to Celebrate
Everyone loves a reason to party. Tie your gathering to a holiday, birthday, anniversary, or completely made-up celebration to get everyone in the festive spirit. Some ideas might be: celebrating everyone’s birthdays that month, ringing in the start of the new season, an astrological sign, the end of Mercury being in retrograde, or honoring a loved one for starting a new job. This way, you can toast to something special and people can revel in the festivities, no matter how minor they may be.
When planning your guest list, remember that it’s better to include everyone than assume that some people would rather not come. For instance, if you’re hosting your so-called “couple friends,” don’t exclude single people thinking they wouldn’t want to hang with all of those twosomes. Same goes with kid-friendly gatherings and people who don’t have kids—they may love the idea of playing with little people even if they’re not parents. Let your loved ones decide if they want in on the fun by being inclusive. No one likes feeling left out. The more, the merrier after all.
Have a Theme
Another way to make your social gathering stand out is to have a theme or ask people to wear costumes. The attire doesn’t have to be elaborate—it could be as easy as picking a decade to dress up from, wearing fun wigs or asking people to don the same color. Giving loved ones a creative outlet as part of the gathering makes it more fun and memorable. (Plus, dressing up makes for super fun pictures, too.)
Make It Collaborative
Don’t shoulder the role of host alone. Ask attendees to contribute a dish if you’re hosting a dinner, or bring the beverages so you don’t need to do all the cooking and barkeeping yourself. Or, if you want to provide food and drinks but people ask you what they can bring, ask your music-lover pal to make an epic playlist or your stylish colleague to bring a pretty flower arrangement for the table. Giving people a reason to feel part of the party before it even starts makes them more invested in the gathering and its ultimate success.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Hosting can be stressful—having people in your home may not be the most comfortable experience for everyone—but being anxious while having guests over kind of kills the fun. Do what you can to prevent stress by putting away anything breakable (especially if your gathering involves kids) and using compostable paper products to make cleanup easy. If you’d prefer, you may even consider hosting your gathering at a park, beach, or other public space to keep the foot traffic down within your own home. That way, you can relax and enjoy your loved ones more fully.
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