Holiday Hosting with the Mosting

Christmas Tree

Dear Vicki,

I love how the holidays bring everyone together. In preparation for the upcoming open houses and festive parties, can you offer a few tips on how I can ensure guests feel welcome in my home? Signed, Hostess

Dear Hostess,

Yes, the holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to open your house to friends, family, and neighbors.  It’s a time to let your home shine as you show off your favorite decorations and your cheese ball molding skills. But even the most seasoned host will admit, entertaining takes serious hard work. What may look effortless in a Pottery Barn catalog, probably took 15 set designers three weeks to create. While you prepare for guests in the real world, there are a few things I want you to remember. First, nobody expects you to be Martha Stewart or Colin Cowie. Our homes have a gorgeous character of their own. A well-lit tree, a beautiful garland, or an elegantly set table is enough to raise the holiday spirit. One well-executed focal point is all you need to make an impact. On a practical note, get your bathrooms gleaming, switch on holiday music, dim the lights, and light all the candles. Answer the door with a drink in hand and sincerely welcome your guests. Your company wants a relaxed host, not a frantic mess. If you are enjoying yourself, I guarantee they will follow suit. And if you are on the receiving end of a holiday invitation? Don’t be an early bird. Arriving fifteen minutes past the start time gives your host a little wiggle room. Emphatically compliment the home, the decorations, the food. A gracious guest is always remembered fondly. A hostess gift is a must. What to bring? Consider a tasteful flower arrangement in a vase, a special bottle of wine or liqueur, a beautifully wrapped ornament, or a book on the historic neighborhoods of Phoenix. All are lovely, appropriate, and appreciated seasonal gifts. Because home is truly where your heart is, I sincerely hope you take the time to share your heart and your home with your neighbors this holiday season.

To submit your question, please contact Vicki at E-Mail