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December 20, 2022 6 Min Read

How to Set Your Holiday Hosting Intention for Connection

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This is it, countdown until it’s party season. Your nearest and dearest (22 to be exact!) are gathering for an epic end-of-year celebration — and you’re hosting. Cue the stress! 

Between all of the cleaning, cooking, and decorating, you’re feeling completely overwhelmed. But integrative Wellness Coach Haley Smith is hoping to come between you and your full-on holiday panic mode. 

With a simple mindset shift, you’ll be able to host with ease and (dare we say?) enjoy your own party. Deep breaths, you’ve got this. 

Think back to the last truly great party you attended — do you even remember what you ate? Was the house clean? Or did you just walk away glowing with joy after great conversation? We have a feeling it was a “belly full, but heart overflowing” situation. 

So how can you replicate that joy and connection at your upcoming event? 

“Set an intention for how you want guests to feel when they leave your house. And let the rest be secondary to that feeling of true connection,” says Haley. 

Here’s what she means: 

Related reading: Embrace A Mindful Approach to Holiday Indulgence

To help see your intention through, here are Haley’s top tips for hosting parties that foster joy and connection – and don’t send you into a spiral of stress:  

Prioritize what will bring you and your guests joy.

And try to let go of the rest. This will take the pressure off of having Instagram-worthy decor or a spread out of a cooking magazine. Focus on simple things that will bring you pride as a host — like recreating your grandmother’s signature chocolate cake or having fresh flowers around — and try not to stress about everything else. 

Make a timeline and lists.

After you pin down what’s important to you, write down everything you need to do before the event. This may look like a grocery list, a shopping list, and a general to-do list. Work backward from the date of the party, and make a timeline of what can be done in advance. Spread the tasks out over a few weeks so you’re not rushed. Aim for one small piece of prep each day, and it won’t feel as overwhelming. 

Let guests help.

Remember that your loved ones want to help you. It makes them feel good to have something to do or a dish to bring. So ask for what you need! Plus, if you plan a potluck-style affair, it’s less cooking for you and ensures everyone has a food that they’re looking forward to devouring. And remember, you can also delegate someone to stop by the grocery store for things like bakery bread or fresh sides. 

Do as little prep on the day as possible.

You don’t want to be completely burnt out before your guests even arrive, so save your day-of time and energy for mingling! Maybe you’ll be transferring a pre-assembled casserole from the fridge to the oven, or thawing a frozen dessert — but think about what other tasks can be done beforehand. Set the table the night before, and set out finger foods for appetizers so dishes don’t pile up before dinner. 

And, breathe!

Now go enjoy! Don’t be stuck in the kitchen. Take off your apron and soak in the celebration. Ask questions, connect guests who don’t already know each other, and spend quality time with each of your loved ones. Realize that the holidays are a difficult or triggering time for some, so respect your guests’ boundaries if they deflect a question or politely decline a glass of wine. 

Finally, congrats to you! You worked hard to bring this party together, and your guests will surely leave feeling fulfilled. 

For guidance setting intentions this holiday season – from self-care to hosting prep – Haley can help you find a balance between all the bustle.

Book Coach Haley

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