Holiday Hosting Hacks

The holidays have arrived, and it’s time to trim the turkey and deck the halls!

This year, think about simplifying your tactics when entertaining or hosting those long-distance guests and prepare, prepare, prepare. Little details – like organizing your kitchen, creating drink stations throughout the house, or even prepping welcome kits for the overnighters – will all add up to an unforgettable holiday, and help you focus on the most important thing: enjoying time with loved ones.

Here are five simple steps to help you be the holiday host or hostess with the most-est!

Prep For Overnight Guests

Expecting overnight guests? Roll out the red carpet with a sweet little welcome kit. It can be as simple as a basket with bottled water, extra toiletries, magazines, and a welcome note with fun local suggestions and locally made goods or California-themed souvenirs from The San Clemente Store or gifts, jewelry, candles and more from Daisy Shoppe! Toss in a holiday-wrapped candy for an added welcome treat.

Store snacks in plain view in your kitchen, and stock the pantry with healthy items like nuts, fruit and savory snack mixes (and holiday chocolates for cheat days!). Plus, earn some extra credit by providing guests with a universal charging station from AT&T so they can power up if they forgot theirs at home (or just don’t feel like digging around in the suitcase for it).

Daisy Shoppe

Variety of Gifts – Starting at $6.99

AT&T

Universal Charging Station – $50.00

The San Clemente Store

California-themed Gifts – Starting at $6.00

Holiday Scents

Get your abode in the holiday mode with warm fall and winter scents drifting throughout the house welcoming guests to any party or weekend stay. Pick up a luxurious Voluspa candle, Planet Beauty has dozens of scents to choose from!

If DIY is more your style, create a stovetop potpourri yourself using items right from the pantry. All it takes is a few cups of water, a halved orange, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves and a dash of nutmeg simmered on low for a few hours in your favorite saucepan or pot from Le Creuset.

Planet Beauty

Voluspa Maison Noir Classic Maison Candle – $32.00

Le Creuset Outlet

Signature 1.75-qt. Flame Saucepan with Lid – $185.00

Planet Beauty

Voluspa Japonica Petite Embossed Glass Jar Candle – $13.00

Get in the Spirit

Displaying holiday cheer sooner rather than later not only brings back positive emotions from childhood but also gives families a boost of happy feelings. Completing time-consuming tasks — such as buying gifts, decorating or baking cookies — early gives you more time to enjoy the actual holiday.

Find festive holiday home décor at Peppertree Lane. And if you need an at-home activity, sugar is the secret! Decorate cookies or a gingerbread house, and get the whole family involved! Prep ahead of time by pre-baking the sugar cookies and organizing a roomy decorating station stocked with sprinkles, frosting and candy.

Brew a Big Pot

“Is there coffee?” Never make your guests ask such a question — because you’ve already thought of it! One of the most fabulous hosting techniques is to always have the coffee ready. If it’s an after-dinner drink or an early morning wakeup call, creating a designated coffee station is key for guests.

Stock your station with marked jars of regular and decaf coffee, filters, spoons, sugar, creamers and favorite mugs — everything you need is at our Starbucks. For the non-coffee drinkers (if there is such a thing!), stock up on sparkling water, cocoa, teas and cider.

Shop Early

Wrap ahead and cook ahead, because both tasks prove themselves to be oh-so time consuming! This season do your best to shop early for your main gifts, and always have plenty of wrapping paper, tape and ribbon to get the wrapping job done ahead of time.

And before you host those loved ones for your big holiday dinner, stock up on fresh kitchen supplies from Kitchen Collection. They have it all — gorgeous casserole dishes that go straight from the oven to the table and the latest kitchen gadgets to give you those much-needed shortcuts.

One More Thing...Try This!

It’s always good to gather up a few trusty recipes that are guaranteed tasty hits. Here is one of our favorites from Rockwell’s Bakery, Cafe & Bar, now open at Outlets at San Clemente.

View/Download Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake