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A group of friends gathered around a cheery dinner table, home for the holiday feast

Staying Home For The Holiday Season? Here Are Our Favorite Hosting Tips.

There’s just something magical about the holiday season. As temperatures drop and spirits rise, now is the season to spend more quality time with family and friends. And, if you’re anything like us, there’s no better place to be than home for the holiday season. If your plan for Thanksgiving (and beyond) involves hosting an event, we’ve got the tips you need for an unforgettable time. 

Elevate Your Home For the Holiday

As the designated host for the holiday season, you bring much more to the table than your grandma’s stuffing recipe. Sometimes, between decoration inspo Pinterest boards and last-minute grocery trips, it can be easy to lose track of why you decided to host in the first place. Luckily, we have a few simple tips to keep the holidays stress-free and set you up for success! 

Menu-Planning & Food Preparation

Most holiday hosting is food-centric, whether you’re planning an elaborate Thanksgiving meal or a cookie-decorating party with friends and neighbors. This is one area where extra planning can save you time in the long run and make the day of your event run more smoothly. 

Start by grocery shopping four or five days before the big holiday meal. This will help you avoid last-minute rushing and give you adequate time to plan meal prep. According to Delish’s helpful holiday timeline, you can:

  • Prepare and freeze soups a whole week in advance.
  • Assemble casseroles two days beforehand. Just bake on the day of your event until they’re golden and bubbly by dinnertime.
  • Put together salads (without dressing), cold sides, and most desserts a day ahead.

Don’t forget that your turkey will need to thaw one day for every 4-5 pounds! And when it comes to sizing your bird, Taste of Home recommends counting on 1.25 pounds of turkey per person attending

Decorations To Elevate Your Space

Hosting gives you a chance to elevate your home for the holiday. But knowing where to start can be difficult, especially because holiday decorations run the gamut from simple autumnal settings to elegant, whole-home themes. 

We recommend that you start with the basics. A week or two before the holiday, start getting decorations out of storage and taking inventory of what you have. Once you know what you’re working with, it’s easier to figure out what you still need. 

Are you looking for a little extra inspiration? Whether you’re interested in a chic Thanksgiving vibe or something a little DIY, there are ideas for every style (and budget). One simple Pinterest search could be all you need for the creativity to start flowing! 

Keep things moving smoothly by setting the table a day or two in advance and arranging fresh flowers the night before. In between, you can tackle house cleaning projects by one room per day. 

Don’t Forget To Delegate

Choosing to host a holiday gathering doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Turning holiday preparations into a team effort can make events even more special for everyone that attends! Delegating could mean: 

  • Having younger kids help with age-appropriate food prep, like snapping the ends off green beans or tearing bread for stuffing. 
  • Asking older kids to set the table and set out serving dishes. 
  • Assigning someone to be the ‘runner’ who does miscellaneous day-of errands, like bringing in drinks from the garage, heading to the grocery store for ice, or handling any other last-minute needs. 
  • Have your guests bring sides, desserts, and beverages so that everyone contributes to the holiday meal. 

If you’re too busy to pore over Pinterest boards for holiday decor inspiration, consider asking everyone to bring one meaningful item to the dinner table. Then, complement these items with fall-themed essentials, like gourds or dried flowers. Not only will everyone’s unique decorations turn up your decor’s hominess factor, but they’re also a great conversation starter. Make sure to set aside time for folks to tell the story behind their chosen item.

An elegant dining room table; decor inspiration for hosts staying home for the holiday season

Pahlisch Homes Give You Space To Gather

There’s something special about inviting loved ones to gather in your Pahlisch home for the holiday season. After all, the holidays bring people together to celebrate what matters most: community. Here are a few of our favorite ways to put your Pahlisch home to work when you’re hosting this holiday season. 

Get the most out of your space by planning the flow of your event. For example, to keep large gatherings from feeling crowded, you can have pre-dinner drinks in the great room and keep appetizers laid out buffet-style in the kitchen. Once everybody’s seated around the dining room table, there should be plenty of time to spruce up the great room for after-dinner games. Don’t forget to utilize your outdoor spaces! A covered back porch can extend your hosting space and give kids or pets room to run before the big meal. 

We’ve designed first-floor or upstairs flex rooms in some floor plans that open the door to endless possibilities. These rec rooms can be great for keeping kids entertained during the holidays. You can even make the flex room a kids-only zone while the adults prepare food, entertain, or enjoy a glass of wine. 

Event Activities and Favors Your Guests Will Love 

Make hosting at home for the holiday even more special with pre- and post-dinner activities and parting gifts. 

Gratitude Scrapbook 

Expressing gratitude is a practice that’s important for everyday life. But it’s also a wonderful tradition to bring to your holiday event. First, create a “gratitude scrapbook” where guests can write what they’re most thankful for on scraps of colorful paper and place it with themed stickers. Then, you can bring out the scrapbook every year and watch how the tradition grows. 

Recipe Sharing 

Remember the delegation you made for certain dishes? Turn it into an activity by providing fun recipe cards for guests to share. These are also great favors to give away if you make a dish that’s a hit with guests. 

Pre- and Post-Dinner Games 

The time before and after a big meal is a great moment to play a game with your guests. Make pre-dinner more active with a game of touch football, corn hole, or a scavenger hunt (weather dependent). Indoor activities after dinner could include coloring for kiddos, tabletop games, or themed trivia. 

Part With Sweet Favors

In addition to leftovers, a sweet favor is a great way to show your gratitude for guests and make the night extra special. We love these themed hot cocoa bombs that are a great anytime treat.

Movie Night For Out-of-Town Guests 

For those staying the night, putting together a movie night in the great room or flex space is the perfect way to unwind, cozy up, and entertain. 

Themed hot cocoa mugs to use as a party favor when you're hosting in your home for the holiday

There’s No Place Like Home For The Holiday Season

There’s something special about being home for the holidays and sharing your space with friends and family. If you’re hosting in a Pahlisch home this season, we hope you found these tips helpful and that you have joyful gatherings with those you love most. 

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social for more holiday tips, floor plan spotlights, and more this season. 

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