Living in Montana, with Family and Friends far away (sniff, sniff), usually brings the opportunity for house guests throughout the year. We LOVE having house guests and hope that they can enjoy all that Missoula has to offer while they are here. In order to try to avoid spending our whole time running to the store and cleaning, we try to have a few things on hand at all times, so we get to enjoy our guests as well.
1. Stock up
Make sure to have plenty of snacks in case folks are hanging around waiting for dinner, or staying for the whole weekend. Stock your pantry with a selection of crackers, nuts (honey glazed almonds, cashews and pistachios are a staple around here), dried fruits, jarred salsas, tapenades and pestos for dipping. Make ahead some quick breads, scones, or brownies. Make sure the fridge has options like cheeses, hummus, olives, and sliced veggies. We use our Earlywood serving ware to make the palette for snacks beautiful and versatile.
2. Keep It Tidy
My mom would have the house cleaned, table set, and holiday gourds, mistletoe and fresh pine swags hung by the chimney with care 3 weeks before anyone arrives. Although she is the hostess with the mostess, it is not always essential to have the world’s cleanest house. Got one messy room? Just close the door and turn off the lights, and no one will bother going in. On the Hoarding Spectrum (as I like to call it)? Consider keeping one bin or basket to sweep papers and clothes into when guests arrive early, or your kids have not picked their stuff up (after asking them 8 times). You can always save deep cleaning and filling until after the party! Prioritize swishing out the toilets, tidying up the entryway, and
3. Keep Drinks on Hand
As far as beverages go, it's always smart to stock up on seltzer, soda, and mixers. Make sure to have coffee (regular and decaf), cocoa, cider and a basket of teas handy. No one ever leaves without trying (and usually buying) Evening in Missoula by Missoula Tea and Spice Trading. Keep your bar stocked with vodka, rum and a few choices of wine and beer. And of course, don’t forget your favorite Thermals to keep your drinks at perfect serving temperature throughout the holidays, day and night!And if you are having my family over, make sure to bring lots of games...easy ones (Parcheesi, Scattergories), high level thinkers (Catan, 7 Wonders), and mind expanders (Vertellis, Cards Against Humanity)!
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