Keep This Checklist Handy As You Prep For Guests

Young woman in blue warm sweater sitting near the big window of coffee shop and writing a Christmas shopping list with cup of blue latte. Planning Christmas holidays. Organising and planning concept.

While some people have a natural gift for organizing dinners, most need a little help. Whether you’ve had guests over many times or you’re preparing for your first gathering, you’ll appreciate this checklist. With specific things to focus on, you’ll have a successful event. After all, if you want to host a special dinner, you want everything to go perfectly.

Purchase the Necessary Food

As expected, the amount and type of food you buy depends on the dinner. Not only do you need to consider the menu but also the number of guests. Before you head to the grocery store, take stock of the food you already have on hand. That way, you will buy only the items needed and nothing more.

When creating your grocery list, remember to include condiments and spices. For whatever reason, some people overlook these only to realize they didn’t get everything until they’re in the middle of preparing the meal.

Include in that sugar and flour. Although at first glance it might seem as though you have enough, make sure so that you don’t need to make a second trip to the store. One last thing, don’t forget the ice.


Again, you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary eating utensils, drinking glasses, plates, bowls, and so on. If you’re hosting a more casual dinner or one with close family or friends, you don’t need everything to match. You can still create a beautiful tablescape by mixing and matching.

On the other hand, if your dinner is more formal, it might be time to invest in a nice set of dinnerware. Not only do you want the right number of nice dishes on the table, but you’ll also need serving dishes and utensils.


Sometimes, this is tricky. With a large dining room table, you’ll have no problem. However, if you have a smaller table, you’ll need to purchase or rent something to accommodate all your guests. The same goes for the chairs. For a casual dinner, you could do something unique by having everyone gather around on a thick blanket with floor cushions.

Food Prep

The one thing to avoid is prepping all the food on the day of the dinner. Instead, do as much of the work ahead of time as possible. That way, you won’t feel stressed when the guests arrive.

Leftover Storage

Especially when hosting a large dinner, you can expect to have leftovers. Instead of throwing food away, plan to store them in your refrigerator. Along with that, some of the guests might want to take some of the food to their homes. Either way, you’ll need storage containers.


For your upcoming holiday dinner, you want to make your home look and smell amazing. That means you’ll need to create a tablescape based on the formality of the event and set a few scented candles out.

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Special Guest Accommodations

In addition to preparing for the meal itself, remember to have enough toilet paper and hand towels. Otherwise, you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation. For holiday meals, people will show up wearing coats. Make sure you have a place to hang them or a clean bedroom where you can lay them on the bed.

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