Hostess with the mostest

Hostess with the mostest

When you’re having a get together, use these can’t-fail ideas to get your gathering off to a great start.

There's nothing like spending time with people we love, and even though Christmas brings all kinds of hectic demands, it also gives us a chance to show friends and family how much they mean to us.

A warm welcome
First impressions are everything and little festive touches around your home can add to the feeling of seasonal celebration – from a homemade welcome at the door to using fragrances to help set the scene.

Check out our Christmas feature on Creating a warm welcome.

Tasty party food
Visitors have spent time getting ready and travelling to see you so they need something to eat when they arrive, even if it’s just nibbles before a big meal. Stick to simple but delicious snacks:

  • Bite-sized salmon servings on sliced toasted French bread with cream cheese mixed with finely chopped fresh dill.
  • Chunks of halloumi cheese grilled then skewered with baby tomatoes and chunks of cucumber, drizzled with pesto.
  • Hearty mini pies – make your favourite stew then use this as filling for mini-pies made in muffin trays, using ready to roll shortcrust pastry.

A cosy spot for everyone
Seating at Christmas parties can be a problem in a lounge designed for four people when it suddenly has to entertain 10 or 11!


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  • Be creative with corners – declutter and free up floorspace by removing magazine racks, sewing boxes, computer game wires. Then collect all the cushions around the house and scatter them for children to sit on, leaving armchairs for older guests.
  • Using sturdy wooden chests (with throws on) or stools for extra seating will make the room feel much more homely than simply bringing in and lining up dining chairs along a wall.

Ice breakers
If you’re inviting a mixture of friends and family, you might want a few easy ways to get everyone talking.

  • Get the kids to serve as your hosts, taking coats and welcoming your friends – it always raises a giggle.
  • Have fun putting up lots of old family photos and getting guests to guess who’s who, or have old family videos running on the TV in the corner of the room.
  • Pin up a homemade ‘Dear Santa’ wishlist that you and your household have started filling in, then get guests to add their own dream gifts. You never know – your wishes might come true!

If you’re planning a bigger gathering, check out our Christmas party planner feature.

Find a delicious new recipe here or see what others are saying about Fairy.

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