So you’ve done all of your preparations and the guests are soon to arrive. Make some room in the coat closet or plan where you will put your guests’ coats, purses, etc.
Coffee and Dessert
You should have coffee and tea available for your guests (and it’s nice to have a decaffeinated option as well). Hopefully you will have had a chance to set up your coffee maker in advance, so you only need to switch on the button. Sometimes it is nice to serve cheese and fruit after the meal, rather than have it with drinks. As with the complexity of the meal in general, you may choose to have something elaborate or simple for dessert, but try to avoid packaged cookies and the like. It is fine to pick something up from a good, local bakery if you don’t have time to prepare it yourself.
You may offer some after dinner drinks or digestifs after the meal, and you may return to the living room for some after dinner conversation. Usually, evenings have a way of ending on their own, and as a host you generally don’t want to usher your guests out the door. If you do encounter a guest who simply will not depart and the hour is getting very late, you might start to drop a few subtle hints, like commenting on the evening and saying how nice it was to have him or her there. If the hint does not work and it is getting terribly late, you may have to be a bit more direct. You might say something like, “Richard, it has been so lovely seeing you, but I’m afraid that I’m fading a bit and have an early start in the morning.” Remember to retrieve your guests’ belongings, and always escort them to the door to say goodnight and thank them for coming.
So here’s hoping you have many wonderful evening with close family and friends, and thank you for listening to quick and dirty tips for a more polite life.
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