The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means—an influx of relatives and unwanted opinions on your turkey. But it’s not all bad—throwing an elegant housewarming party for your friends and family with a home-cooked meal can be surprisingly fun and easy.
But how do you impress your parents, friends, significant other, and potentially judgmental relatives, all at the same time? Follow this guide and you’re sure to have a successful home-warming party that everyone can enjoy.
Make Sure the Meal You Serve is Home-Cooked
You don’t want anyone sniffing at the store-bought mac-n-cheese you grabbed in a last-ditch effort to make up for the forgotten side dish. Make sure that you are prepared. Do some research on home-cooked meals online and gather the ingredients days in advance, rather than the same day as your party—and go for the organic; you’ll taste the difference, trust me.
Manage Your Time and Stay Confident
It is important to be a good host, but while you should make sure that everyone is introduced and comfortable, you need to manage your time wisely. Don’t let yourself become too distracted and forget to pull the pie out of the oven.
Also, a great thing to remember is to stay confident in your cooking. I think that even the shyest of chefs will find that putting together a home-cooked meal is not as intimidating as one may have thought once it’s all over. Take your time, put in the effort, and enjoy what you made.
Pick a Good Bottle of Wine
Pairing your home-cooked meal with a good bottle of wine is key. It’ll relax your guests and get the conversation flowing. Plus, your guests will spend weeks, if not months, afterwards discussing your excellent taste in wine and hosting abilities.
Add a New Design to Your Typical Table
Entertaining in your new home? Your dishware, linens and the like could use a little sprucing up, too—even if you are on a budget. You don’t need to spend the big bucks, but you deserve to treat yourself. Stop in and grab some new napkins rings, dishware, and cloth napkins from your local home goods store. If you’re heading into colder weather while celebrating your new home, try adding an adorable touch like this teapot sweater or a festive Christmas centerpiece.
You can also DIY to make the sprucing up more affordable with a few season-appropriate projects. For fall, I love these glitter pumpkins from Martha Stewart. I’m of the opinion that glitter goes well on just about anything, but if you’re going to glitter something, make sure you do it right—otherwise, there’s no going back.
While you may have introduced everyone, that doesn’t mean that they’re talking. Get your guests to be social by playing ice breaker games—they may complain at first, but everyone loves a good ice breaker game. It loosens up the room and gets folks talking, if nothing else. Try playing Cards Against Humanity, Apple to Apples, or do a simple Google search of “ice breaker games” if you don’t have either on hand—pick and choose your favorites, and get your guests gossiping.
The most important aspect of any housewarming party is to make sure your guests are having a good time, and that you are enjoying yourself as well. As long as you keep everyone talking, drinking, and feeling warm and happy, you’re sure to throw the most successful of home warming parties!