Ask Nonna: How Can I Be A Good Host When I’m Secretly Worried About Everyone Getting Along?

Everyone knows an Italian grandmother will keep your plate full — but she can also be trusted for some much-needed wisdom. That’s why we've asked Italy’s renowned pasta queen and Airbnb Experiences host, Nonna Nerina, her advice on everything from holiday hosting to ghosting to all the ways you’re ruining your pasta. Buona lettura!
Dear Nonna,
This year for the holidays, I decided to invite friends and family together who have never all been in the same room before. I love the idea of having all my favorite people in one place and having them meet each other, but I also don’t want it to feel awkward and forced. How can I be a good host? And what can I do to help my guests be comfortable? 
The Hesitant Hostess 
Amica mia,
I understand what it’s like bringing new friends together for the first time. I spend a week every summer with four friends, all old women. But can you imagine what happened the first time we all decided to vacation together when we didn’t know each other nearly as well? I left early...and we were vacationing in my home!
The point is, it’s important to remember that time spent with your friends and family is meant for you to enjoy, too. Of course, try to create peace among your guests, but in order to do that, you must be relaxed and happy to be with them, as well.
A big hug and a warm smile is the best way to make people feel at home. I love to sing, talk about funny moments we shared together, and make jokes. We eat a lot and laugh even more!
I also love to decorate my home for the holidays, especially for Christmas. However, I always ensure that my home is child friendly. It makes your guests and their families feel like they can relax and not have to worry too much about accidentally breaking something. And if an accident happens, it happens. There are more important things to care about. Say evviva! and carry on.
Buone feste!
Nonna Nerina
As told to Gina Marinelli.

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