Christmas time is notorious for unexpected guests dropping by. In-laws, old friends, relatives, and work associates can all arrive with barely a warning.
You have every right to panic when this happens, but don’t. The trick to make this unexpected event a success is to be calm. The more you stress the harder it will be to give your guests a warm and pleasant time in your home.
So calm down. Stop for a moment and think. Once you’ve settled what you need to do in your mind, set a good mood by tidying up any clutter around your sitting room and dining area so that your guests will feel comfortable. And then play some mood music to get everyone to sit back and relax.
Now, for the work:
Keep ready-to-serve dishes at hand or a fully-stocked pantry
Someone once said that the best way to deal with the unexpected is to expect it. So it’s useful to keep a ready-to-serve cake, a gallon of ice cream, a pan of pasta or a bowl of fruit salad in the refrigerator to serve up at a moment’s notice.
Failing that, keep your kitchen cupboards well stocked with staples that will help you whip-up a quick platter of finger goodies – some bars of cheese, packs of crackers and chips, ready pizza crusts, bottled salsas and gourmet spreads can become lifesavers when people drop by unexpectedly.
Embrace your guests with open arms
Having unexpected guests can be really rattling, but don’t let them know that. Just because you may not have been planning on entertaining people doesn’t mean that you couldn’t give them a good time. When your guests arrive, greet them warmly and immediately offer them something to eat or drink. Having a positive attitude and being enthusiastic will instantly make your home feel welcoming.
Make easy snacks
Your guests won’t be expecting much at your last-minute celebration. But if you want to wow them anyway, make a few quick and easy dishes using things you already have in your pantry. Biscuits, drop cookies, tea sandwiches, popcorn, homemade pizza and pasta salads can all be made at a moment’s notice and require minimal cleanup.
If you really aren’t ready with any of these things, don’t worry. If all else fails, the great, easy party food known as takeout comes into play here. Hit up the nearest pizza place and order some appetizers, pizzas, desserts, and sodas — to keep your guests full and happy.
If guests are around for lunch or dinner, call delivery from the nearest restaurant place. Throw in a gallon of ice cream from the nearest 7-11 and you’re all set.
Not every party needs to have set activities, but if you find that there is a lull in conversation or an awkward break in the action, propose playing some card or board games. Every household has at least a Monopoly set and a deck of cards set on hand (if not, get some!), so set up some friendly competition to keep people entertained.
Be sure to have some of the latest card games on the ready, such as Cards Against Humanity. Before you know it everyone is roaring with laughter and enjoying themselves. Count that as success!
Set the mood with music
I already mentioned this earlier, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good mood-setting playlist ready to go and play through whatever home speaker system you may have. Depending on who has come to visit, you can turn the mood up with the Top 40 hits or set a relaxing tone with jazz. This easy detail will make your last-minute gathering feel thoroughly thought out.