I’ve put together these basic rules of entertaining in time for this busy holiday season. Knowing that there will be many dinner and cocktail parties, luncheons, and get-togethers, as well as overnight guests, it’s important to keep in mind the most basic of all rules of entertaining friends, colleagues, and family. After all, the main goal of a host or hostess, is to entertain and bring happiness—a simple and achievable process if you mind a few and simple rules
Rule 1: Let every guest know how large or small your party will be.
Just simply tell everyone how many guests who plan to attend. Keep in mind that if it’s only couples, a single person may feel outplace or uncomfortable. That single person may wish to bring a companion, offer that option.
Rule 2: For overnight guests, let everyone know who will be staying overnight and for how long each guest plans to stay.
Try to give each guest a basket with snacks to take to their room. Don’t tell them to go to the kitchen if they want something. Remember that not everyone likes such informality and some guests may not feel like raiding your refrigerator in the middle of the night. You want your guests comfortable, but it’s not their home, so extend your self and make them feel comfortable.
Rule 3: If you have a special part of the house you want your guest not to use or go into, make it clear to everyone.
If you have a guest bathroom that you don’t want your guests to use, try keeping the door closed at all times
Rule 4: If you think someone might have used a guest toilet that you didn’t want them to use, don’t complain loudly, it brings discomfort to all your guests.
No scolding please, it’s a bit unbecoming.
Rule #5: Do not argue with your spouse, boyfriend, fiancé, relatives, or friends during the party or the overnight stay.
Keep in mind that if any guest hears or sees you arguing, it will make them feel uncomfortable.
Yes, make your guests feel at home, but not so much that you feel comfortable arguing in front of them. Unless you’re in the business of torturing people or want your guests to leave sooner than intended, I suggest that you extend your most hospitable temperament during their presence. Don’t forget, the way you treat your guests indicates how you expect them to treat you when you’re their guest.
Rule 6: Limit the number of your guests to the number with which you can cope.
Do not start cleaning your home in front of your guests and complain that too many people make your home dirty and that people don’t clean up after themselves. If any of your guests helped with the dishes, don’t tell them that you don’t like the way they clean and that the dishes must be washed again.
Rule 7: Realistically, plan to have your home clean before or after all your guests have left.
Do not ask your overnight guests to leave at anytime during their expected stay so your housekeeper can clean and that you don’t want them walking around when your housekeeper cleans.
If you can’t wait to have your home clean, plan an activity to keep your guests busy while the housekeeper does the cleaning undisturbed.
Rule 8: Do not tell your friends that you do not like the gift they brought you.
It’s simply not very considerate. Feel free to tell your friends wines that you like or gift ideas so next time they know what to bring.
Rule 9: Don’t waste food in front of your guests.
You shouldn’t waste food at all. Remember, there are millions who just don’t have food to eat. Just because you’re blessed and have abundance, if you throw away good food in the presence of your guests, some may find it offensive and even see the gesture as crass. Don’t forget, there are millions of people who go without food every day because they can’t afford to eat.
Rule 10: Your guests honor you by coming into your home; honor their presence too.
If you’re reading this, and have a few rules or dos and don’ts of entertainment, feel free to add them. There’s always room for learning.