On Being A Good Holiday Hostess

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We are two weeks away from Thanksgiving. The beautifully set table, the Martha Stewart-worthy turkey, the clinking of glasses, the warmth of the fire, and invariably … the anxiety we all feel when entertaining.

Mary Ella Gabler and John Bitzer share a meal with family and friends

We want it to be beautiful.  We want it to be memorable.  We want it to be perfect.

Well relax, we’ve got some tips to ensure your gathering is all that you envision.

Tip #1. Relax.

No, really. Truly. Relax. Whether your guests are joining you for the day or 10 days, a comfortable, relaxed hostess is the best kind of hostess. Let go of your magazine cover idea of the “perfect gathering.”

Tip #2. Prepare.

What will allow you to relax in the moment will be your preparation. Get your shopping out-of-the-way. Cook/bake/order whatever you can. Prepare your guest room. Whatever you can do in advance will give you the time and freedom to enjoy your guests when they arrive.

A stack of folded bed sheets, perfect for guests

Tip #3. Be Thoughtful.

Prepare for overnight guests with soft bedding, towels and robes. Pick up some of their favorite things to eat and drink. Plan a dinner or outing tailored to their interests. Make an extra key to allow them to come and go. Do what you can to make them feel at home.

Tip #4. Enjoy.

No, really. Truly. Enjoy. What you and your guests will remember long after the crystal and china have been put away is the feeling they had while they were in your home. Relish the time together. Laugh heartily. Connect meaningfully.

Enjoy your guests this holiday season. Because that truly makes the perfect gathering.

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