Entertaining Tips for the Holidays

Holidays often bring entertaining–whether hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, a Christmas party, or Christmas Day itself, it can be overwhelming and leech fun away from the actual celebration. When I lived in D.C., my housemates and I did so much entertaining–a casual dinner party thrown together on a weeknight, regular costume parties, Friendsgiving, an enormous Christmas party… we all perfected our hosting skills over those years! We’ve hosted family and friends here, though that had slowed down due to the pandemic. Now that things are picking up again, I thought it would be helpful to remind myself of the tips I’ve learned over the years, and share them with you, too!

Prepare as much as you can in advance

I loved this post from my friend Jen at Magpie–a great reminder on the joys of preparation. Write things down! Take your time! Enjoy the process and be in the present as you prepare, so that you can be in the present while you’re hosting.

Work with what you have

Use the table linens you have. Create an arrangement that will last the season. Don’t go overboard with purchasing new things–or, if you do, make sure what you purchase can be used again. We don’t need different things for each party. Minor things can be changed to create a new look without spending money or accumulating more things.

Be discerning with your guest list

My rule of thumb is to invite people who will know at least one other person than yourself at the party. It’s a good way to make sure groups mesh with each other, and that no one feels left out.

Overestimate your guests’ appetites

Too much food is always better than not enough! (The same goes for ice.) I have used this guide for how much cheese to include for cheese platters, but I always add more than recommended. I also always make more hors d’oeuvres than I think will be enough. Leftovers are just as good the next day, especially if you’re too tired to cook.

Don’t forget the music!

I need to get a new set of speakers, but having the right playlist is crucial for a good party. I love getting an insight into my hostess’s tastes by what music she selects! I’m excited to share holiday playlists with you all soon.

What is your favorite entertaining tip?

3 thoughts on “Entertaining Tips for the Holidays

  1. For a larger cocktail party, rent glassware/cocktail plates from a caterer (even if you are not having the event catered). They will typically deliver and pick up – no dishwashing required 🙂

    Yes to having too much food and drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options!). Better to go simple and have plenty to offer your guests than go fancy but not have enough.

    If you’re cooking, don’t try new recipes for a party – stick to those you know and love.

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