Christmas, Holidays & Events

How To Prepare For Guests During Christmas

As much as I love Christmas, it can be a stressful time of the year especially if have a large family like me. I host a lot of family dinners and trust me, it’s more work than play. Getting your recipes and home right can be intimidating but I’m here to help. Here is how to prepare for guests during Christmas.

I know it may feel scary if you are new to hosting but it doesn’t have to be if plan ahead and that’s what this post is all about. Breaking it all down into lists and making the most of your time will help you feel less overwhelmed so continue reading.

How To Prepare For Guests During Christmas

How To Prepare For Guests During Christmas

I remember a few years ago, my husband invited his family over for Christmas dinner and forgot to tell me until it was almost too late. I had only 3 days to plan, shop, and prepare my home which made me mad. How could he forget to mention something so important?

Anyway, thanks to my planning skills and my teenagers, we were able to get everything ready, and still have some extra time on our hands. However, even if you don’t have extra hands, or are short on time, you can still do this! Check out these 150 Christmas gift ideas plus these self-care Christmas gifts for yourself!

1. Outline Your Plans In Advance

Step one is very important so pay attention, and outline everything that needs to be done at least 3-5 days in advance.

This is when you gather ideas from sites like Pinterest for recipes, settings, themes, and decor. Your recipes should include snacks, appetizers, drinks, and main courses.

Make another outline of what needs cleaning or rearranging in your home to accommodate your guests. Your next outline should be your shopping list but we’ll get to that in a second.

2. Recipe List & Ingredients

After gathering your recipes and deciding on what to make, you will need to make a list of all the ingredients you need. Now it’s time to raid your pantry and see which of the ingredients you already have and scratch them off your grocery list.

It’s time to go shopping, I usually do my shopping at least 3 days before the big event and you should too! You don’t want to go through the hassle of last-minute shopping. 

Once you have all your ingredients, it is time to organize and arrange them into sections for each recipe. this simple act will be very helpful when it’s time to start cooking your meals.

Also, if you have ingredients that require cutting or peeling, it’s best to deal with them before storing them in the fridge for later. Make sure to store fresh vegetables and fruits in zip bags to keep them fresh after you clean them.

3. Cleaning & Rearranging List

Now it’s time for cleaning and rearranging your space to accommodate your guests. Once you’ve outlined what needs to be cleaned or changed, it’s time to list it all down. You also need to make a schedule of when you plan on doing them.

I usually clean and arrange furniture at least 4 days in advance, this gives me enough time to shop and prepare my recipes. However, if you have kids that’ll destroy your hard work like mine, you may want to postpone this step until much later.

Decide where your guest will sit before and after your Christmas dinner. List down how many people will be comming over and where you will be seating them. If you have a small or crowded sitting area, it’s time to remove stuff that may get in the way. 

You also want to get the guest bathroom deep cleaned but that can be done 2 days before your dinner party. Make sure to change hand towels and get some toilet rolls, hand soap, and air fresheners as well.

Finally, air out the whole house for at least an hour by opening the windows the morning of my main event. This is when you want to prepare candles and small themed decors for your event as well.

Don’t forget to empty your jacket closet as well to make way for your guest’s jackets. You want to make your home look and feel as welcoming and warm as possible.

4. Outdoor Arrangement

This step can be done 2 days before your guests arrive but it’s very important. Since you’re going to be having a lot of people over, you need to make room for them outdoors as well.

If you have a messy driveway that needs cleaning, it’s time to take care of it. If you have toys or items lying around, get rid of those as well.

Don’t forget that shoe mat, get it cleaned if need be. Make sure your hubby removes some of the snow from the driveway and takes out the trash before your guests arrive. 

5. Night Before Cooking

Preparing most of your meals the night before your Christmas dinner will save you so much time! Get all the utensils you need cleaned and prepared the day before, this will save you so much time.

You also want to get all your dinnerware, serving platters, and drinkware ready the day before.

If you’re making a salad, cut out your ingredients the night before and keep them in an airtight container. You’ll only have to combine it with vinaigrette the next day.

If you’re baking Chicken, pork, or beef, marinate it the night before so all you need to do is put it in the oven the next day.

I also make all my desserts the day before, cookies, snacks, and appetizers are all made the day before my guests are expected.

Oh, and don’t forget those parchment papers and aluminum foils, I always forget those and have to run out last minute!

6. Self-Care

When preparing for the big day, your stress levels are going to go through the roof and this calls for a little self-care to calm down those nerves.

I usually do some meditation and deep breathing right before I start cooking.  You also want to put on some calming music and pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine.

As for my hair and physical appearance, I choose what I’m going to wear, take a long bubble bath, and get my hair done the night before.

Trust me, you won’t be able to do any of that on the main day so the last day before your event is going to the the most exhausting!


So I hope this post helped you learn how to prepare for guests during Christmas! If you did find it helpful, please share it and also take a moment to follow me on Pinterest for more helpful tips! Until next time, Happy Holidays!

How To Prepare For Guests During Christmas