Hosting for Christmas and the Holidays

With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to start preparing your home for the rush of holiday guests. Starting in the fall and heading into winter, holidays often mean extra people in your home. Having family and friends over is universally considered one of the best parts of the holiday season. But let’s be honest: hosting also adds stress to your plate.

Whether you’re wondering, “How do I host Christmas in a small house?” or you’re simply looking for holiday hosting tips, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a guide for everything you need to know about hosting for the holidays. Ready, set, host!

Furniture Ideas for Your Guest Room

In many cases, when family and friends come to visit, they’ll need a place to spend the night. As you prepare for holiday guests, you may wonder, “What should my guest room include?” Use the following guest room furniture ideas as the perfect place to start:

  • Bed or sleeper sofa: First and foremost, you need a place for your guest to rest their head at night. If you have a larger guest room, a guest bed is a perfect pick. For smaller spaces, such as an office that doubles as a guest room, consider a sleeper sofa. This allows you to use the space for more than one purpose. You can also use a combination of sleeping arrangements if you’ll be hosting multiple people at once. For example, a guest room with a full-size bed and a sleeper sofa could house a couple and their child.
  • Nightstand: Providing your guest with a small end table by their bed or sleeper sofa will allow them to keep their phone nearby and can also be used for books, magazines, and an evening glass of water.
  • Lamp: A floor lamp or table lamp adds a warm ambiance to your guest room. This is a great pick for small spaces where subtle lighting will make the room feel cozy.

Along with adding new furniture to your guest room, consider adding some stylish guest room decor. A wall tapestry can add texture and color to a bland wall. A mirror can create the perception of a larger space. There are numerous wall accent pieces that can help spruce up your guest room, turning it into an inviting place to sleep. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re converting an office space into a guest room for the holidays.

Best Dining Room Tables for Small Spaces

One of the top questions people have around the holidays is how to host a large party in a small space. It can be difficult to know where you will fit everyone as the guest list increases, particularly if you live in a small apartment or condo. One of the top considerations for those hosting guests for holiday meals is what dining room table will be the best fit for a small space.

The following are all great dining room tables for a limited amount of room:

  • An extendable table: Extendable tables are a great choice for smaller homes. When holiday guests arrive, you can add the table leaves to create extra space. When you’re not entertaining, the extra leaves can be removed or folded down, allowing you more everyday room.
  • A round table: In a small dining room or eat-in kitchen, a round table will take up less real estate. These tables are easy to fit into tight corners, making it possible to entertain guests even without a formal dining room space.
  • A counter height table: Taller than your average table, a counter height table allows you to double down on the use of space. Many of these tables have built-in storage for dishes, as well as wine racks.

Once you’ve chosen your dining room table, you might still wonder exactly how to host a dinner party in a small space. There are numerous options for making a holiday meal work in smaller homes. First, if the weather permits, consider hosting an outdoor holiday party. You can still use your dining room table for setting up a food buffet, and guests can stream into the room to fill their plates. Then, you can funnel your guests outside, where you have more room to set up chairs and tables.

If you live in a cold part of the country where an outdoor holiday party isn’t feasible, consider creating two areas for dining. Many families opt to have the kids all sit together at a smaller folding table that can be set up in the living room or office space. The adults can all gather around the formal dining room table, giving everyone a little more room to move.

Another way to maximize your space in a small home is to use your kitchen as a buffet line. Rather than trying to cram all your guests and all the food into the dining room, keep the food lined up on the kitchen counters. Let everyone fill their plates and then find a place to sit. This will make a small dining room table feel more spacious.

How to Host a Christmas Dinner

With your guest room set up and your dining room table in place, all that’s left is planning your holiday dinner. Whether you’re hoping to host a Christmas dinner this year or you’re in charge of another holiday event, the following steps will help make your holiday dinner a success:

  1. Plan the meal: There are two ways to approach your holiday dinner. You can either opt to cook or cater the entire meal yourself, or you can ask your guests to bring food. Make sure that you pick your option well in advance so that you and your guests have enough time to shop and prepare. As you plan your meal, be sure to consider any family or friends with dietary restrictions. Choose a variety of sides to help make sure that there’s something to please any taste bud. Additionally, if you plan to cook a turkey or ham, try to purchase your meat at least a week before your meal. This will prevent you from dealing with a last-minute crisis when your local grocery store is sold out of important meal items.
  2. Decorate: One of the most enjoyable parts of a Christmas dinner is creating a winter wonderland for your guests. Be sure to add Christmas table decor and other Christmas decorations to your dining room. A wintry pine centerpiece can add a holiday feel to your small dining room table, or a hand-carved wooden reindeer can give a sense of Danish Hygge warmth to your home.
  3. Add place settings: To prevent chaos as your family and friends sit down to your festive dinner, consider adding place settings complete with name placards. Everyone will know exactly where to sit and will feel extra special as they see their name resting alongside their plate.
  4. Cook ahead: When possible, prepare any food that you can prior to the day you’re hosting your holiday meal. When you wait to cook everything the day of, you’ll not only be pressed for time, but you might also run into issues with having enough stovetop or oven space. Desserts, such as pies and cookies, can be baked days or even weeks out and then frozen to keep fresh. Sides such as baked macaroni and cheese or green bean casserole can be cooked the day before and reheated at dinner time. Save your oven space for the main dish, and keep your stress levels at a minimum by preparing items ahead.
  5. Have fun!: Hosting a holiday dinner can be a stressful event. You want to make sure everyone enjoys tasty food and great company during their visit. However, make sure you take a moment to relax and have fun, too. The holidays are, after all, about making memories with the ones we love.

Whether you’re looking for dining room table Christmas decor or you need new kitchen appliances for Christmas, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to browse our online store or stop by a nearby Ashley Furniture location to find everything you need to host family for the holidays.