San Antonio skyline at dusk

Holiday Hosting in San Antonio

It’s here. The holidays are officially here. Halloween was definitely the primer and November is the slow-burn ‘till the Yuletide fair. Sure, you may have seen Christmas in October but I’m not justifying that intrusion. Stay in your lane, Santa! Anyway, as this holiday season fast approaches it’s time to think about what that means for you as a host here in the Alamo City this Thanksgiving week and through the Christmas season.

Best Host Ever

If you are blessed to be living here in San Antonio for a while, you’ve done your share of hosting friends, family, and sometimes colleagues. You can’t wait to show them the newest spots to hang out at and of course your classic go-tos. But sometimes there is a sense of overwhelm because where do you start?? As a self-proclaimed host and ambassador to San Antonio from sunrise to sunset, I’d like to provide a few pointers. Especially as this holiday season fast approaches. Granted, you might not even WANT to host. But I got options for you too. A few things to start out with:

  • Determine what kind of host are you – are you a full blown tour guide or a ‘here’s a list, there’s the door, thank you for coming,” kinda host.
  • Ask questions and take notes – Get to know your guests and what they like
  • Tour the city yourself – anytime you go out, try something new. Or really get to know the places you go to all the time and make a list of your favorites. And of course: Local, local, local.
  • Prep your house and vehicle if you’ll be the taking the helm
Overview of dinner party with host serving wine

‘Welcom to my tour’ or ‘Here’s a flyer’

If you’re like me, you can’t wait until you have people visit so you show off the city. It gives you an excuse to abandon whatever boring routine you have so you can cut out early from work and have fun. Depending on who your guest is you want to give them the full fledged San Anto vibe, catering to their specific tastes. And there’s nothing better that seeing their eyes light up and hear a “wow” or a “I didn’t know that?” come out of their mouth.

On the other hand, you may be dreading the very thought of having people visit. But you’re somewhat of a decent person and for whatever reason (it’s a boss, a judgey family member, etc.) you’ll have to put some effort into their stay. At minimum, you can create a list for them for a specific area and send them off their merry way. And if you curate that list wisely, they’ll love you for it and can’t wait to come back (sorry).

Tour group with guide pointing

Survey Says…

There’s no shortage of interesting and unique things to do in San Antonio. There is literally something for everyone. So to really provide a good hosting experience, there’s a few questions you should ask your guests. A pre-visit survey if you will:

  • What can’t you eat? – Knowing your guests dietary restrictions is a good start. Most restaurants around here will cater and be accommodating but if you know what your guests aren’t eating (keto? clean?) or foods they are allergic to then you can be a little bit more selective.
  • Indoor or Outdoor? – You may have guests that can be outside, all day, any day. And then there are those that wish the whole world was air-conditioned. Given the unpredictable weather patterns we have sometimes, knowing this little detail can make a world of difference for your hostee’s experience.
  • What would YOU like to do? – A simple question but sometimes the hardest thing to take in. You may get visitors that already have their own agenda locked and loaded and they just need you for the ride. But then there are those that say the dreaded words, “I don’t know.”  And for those, that’s where you’ll have to dig in a little deeper. You wanna chill? You wanna party? You wanna spend all your money? Or do you wanna nerd out and learn some stuff? And if they still don’t know, well then just go ahead and do what YOU, the host wanna do. If anything, at least YOU’LL have a good time.
Hands writing in notebooks

Local, Local, Local

You may have your routines during the week and weekend where you visit certain establishments over and over again. But every once in a while, hang out at a new neighborhood. Check out a new spot you’ve been seeing on the internets. Find some cool antique shops at Hildebrand Avenue or homegrown stores at the Shops at Blanco Roundabout. See a new restaurant pop up that no one has clocked yet? Check it out yourself. Yes, I know some of you find that to be terrifying because “Oh no, what if I don’t like it?” But what if you do and it’s awesome?!

Having visitors can help you to discover new places in the city you never knew existed. Especially if you’re asking your guests those questions ahead of time to gauge what their interests are. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and check out whatever they’re into these days. Somebody’s asking about getting some West African food that has fufu (soft dough ball made out of cassava or plantain)? Um, okay. Wait a minute. Well, what do you know… there are several African restaurants in San Antonio! And fufu with those flavorful stews is DELICIOUS!

Three different business within San Antonio - clothing store, rollercade, African restaurant

Mi Casita es su Casita…nor NOT

If you’ve been tagged as the family’s hotel, then you may already be stocked with the essentials for a guest. You’ll have the bedding, snacks, and drinks all ready to go. Again, going back to the guest pre-visit survey, if they’re staying with you, find out what they like in terms of drinks and snacks. Also, if you’ll be their personal taxi, then get your vehicle prepped as well. It’s a good excuse to finally clean it up (if you don’t do it often like me) and get some nice smelly air fresheners. Just starting out in developing your hosting at home skillz? No worries, I got you covered in an upcoming post.

Maybe you’ve made a hard pass at having peeps at your place because it’s just not your thing. Or your guests are staying at a hotel because their work or ‘points’ is paying for it. At minimum, provide a little host gift to welcome them in town. Coffee from local roasters like Shotgun House Coffee Roasters or Revolución Coffee & Juice, cute San Antonio stickers from Very That or Barbacoa Apparel, or an Alamo Candy Co. gift bag. Anything that says…you’re in San Antonio now, baby! Enjoy!

Photos of food snacks and drinks

Whatever point you are in the spectrum of hosting, don’t let yourself get bogged down on the details. The point is to have a good time with whomever you’re with and wherever you go. Go with the flow but have a loose plan. Expect the unexpected but let your good attitude be a constant. And the more you host, you too can be a self-proclaimed ambassador for San Antonio. Cheers!

Are you the consummate host? Or are you a hard-pass when it comes to having guests? Comment below!

graphic of holiday hosting in texas

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One Comment

  1. Oh, I might be a hard pass on the guests since living in NYC makes you the ultimate family and friend hotel and private tour guide, haha. I do love to host a good party though so that makes up for it. Hehe, bring on the event planning!

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