Life's a party! The Entertaining Special

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This month at NONILO, we celebrate the many joys of entertaining at home

Opening up your home to family and friends is one of the best ways to show you care. It means welcoming them into your space and to your life.

This December, we will be celebrating the many joys of entertaining at Christmas and all year round.

The essentials of entertaining at Christmas and the rest of the year

From decorations to table settings to ideas for games potluck recipes and what to do with leftovers, entertaining at home at Christmas and all year round has many elements. But just because a lot goes into having guests over, it should not feel like chore.

The fun can start even before you throw a party at home.

Whether it’s choosing Christmas dinnerware, dazzling decorations, centrepieces or Christmas party games, hosting family and friends over the holidays can be quite fun.

Of course, it’s no party without some good food (and some bubbly). Plan your Christmas menu at least a week ahead to give yourself time to shop for festive foods like log cakes, prepare, and perhaps do some test recipes, especially if you want to give your guests a truly delicious experience.

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But delicious doesn’t have to mean complicated, so you can opt for easy but delicious appetisers and meals that will still impress your guests. Or you can even make it a potluck party, which lets everyone contribute and somehow lessens the burden of having to come up with the entire menu.

Remember: you don’t have to bring out all the food all at once. Prepare some snacks and drinks beforehand. And if you have a bar, you can also provide guests with non-alcoholic options or mocktails.

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Entertaining at Christmas or anytime of the year doesn’t just mean putting good food on the table, it also means keeping your home spic and span. One area of the house that needs most attention is your bathroom. Make sure to give each corner a good scrub and leave some scented candles and toilet paper as well as new bars of soap for your guests.

Before your guests even arrive, you must already create a relaxing ambiance. Dim the lights. If your lighting fixtures don’t have dimmers, then light some candles and turn on those twinkly Christmas lights. Not only will this provide pleasant lighting, but inspire a festive mood too.

And of course, what’s a party without some good music? You can go for a holiday playlist or some pop rock or jazz. What matters is knowing your audience and choose tracks that will surely be crowd pleasers.

Decorate your dinner table with plants, flowers, holiday decor or you can even make the dessert the centrepiece of your spread.

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It’s not just the mood and food that you have to consider, also prepare for emergencies, like keeping allergy medication on hand. You can also prepare the spare bedroom or have clean sheets ready just in case the fun lasts well into the night and one of your guests decide to crash at your place.

It helps to list everything down and to do one small task at a time.

Once everything is set, it’s time to take a break. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and have a snack; being the evening’s host doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, too!