Entertaining for the Holidays

Entertaining For The Holidays

Essential Tips to Master Holiday Entertaining

Hosting a holiday party should be nothing less than fun! The holiday season is always so magical. It’s a time of year we reunite with family and catch up with old friends. It’s the end of the year and the start of a new one, bringing with it new beginnings. I love this time of year, and I’m so excited to share with you how I throw the best, stress-free holiday party ever.

The secret to making hosting the holidays a breeze is to plan and prep early. Planning and prepping early is the key to reducing stress on party day. Keeping everything organized is also very important if you want to stay stress-free. This stage is when you plan out all the party details. First, you will need to determine when and where the party will be held. You also need a pretty good idea of how many people to expect. This is also the time to plan out all the details of the food dishes you will want to serve, and the atmosphere you will want to create. More on food and decor later. 

sara entertaining for the holidays

6 Holiday Party Questions To Answer When Hosting

1. What will the date of the party be?

2. Who/How many quests to expect?

3. Where will the party be located?

4. What type of party atmosphere do you want?

5. What is your budget?

6. Are you going to have music or entertainment?


Entertaining for the holidays

When planning a holiday party, start by choosing a theme. A cohesive theme will make choosing the party decor, food, and entertainment much easier. Now you only have to worry about staying within your budget. 

Always greet every guest as they arrive. Parties can get hectic, and someone always seems to need something only the host can provide. You always want to make sure your guests feel welcome. Even if all you have time for at the moment is a quick “Hello. It’s good to see you!” goes a long way. Guests will understand and you can catch up with them later.

The key to throwing the best holiday party ever is for everyone to completely enjoy themselves, including you. The party is the big moment you have been working hard to create, you should enjoy it too. Use this time to mingle. Check in on your guest and thank them for coming. Save the clean up for after the party, or even the next day. 

One last essential tip you need to know to master holiday entertaining….do not allow yourself to stress out about anything! The holidays are already stressful enough don’t let the small details become big things. Your guests are not going to know you wanted to serve a second dessert but you couldn’t because you accidentally forgot about it and now it’s still burnt to the bottom of the pan. Everyone can still have a good time and only you have to know that your guests aren’t getting burnt cookies. 


5 Tips for Hosting the Best Holiday Party Ever

  • 1. Plan and Prep Early
  • 2. Choose a Theme
  • 3. Greet Everyone As They Arrive
  • 4. Wait Until Your Guest Leave To Clean Up
  • 5. Don’t Stress Out About Anything!

What Do I Serve At A Holiday Party?

When hosting a part I always like to serve some type of appetizer. Even if it’s just chips and salsa or cheese and crackers. If your guests are coming for dinner, they are going to be hungry. It’s a great idea to have something they can nibble on while waiting for everyone to arrive. During the holidays I like to serve holiday candy and a variety of nuts throughout the night.

When it comes to the meal keep it simple. Don’t make all the food. Choose a few items you will make and have someone else make the rest, even if it’s your favorite restaurant. You can save a lot of time in the kitchen by making the main course, one side dish, and a dessert. To save even more time on party day consider a dessert that can be made the day before. If you want to add more food options consider dishes that you can buy and assemble, such as salads. Anything that can be tossed in the crockpot in the morning and forgotten about all day is an excellent option. When I’m throwing a party I love to toss a roast in my crockpot. It’s minimal effort, and can be versatile depending on the sides you serve with it. To make dinner even easier consider one-pot meals cooked in a beautiful pot that can go straight to the dinner table.


Entertaining for the Holidays

Entertaining for the Holidays – Tips for Hosting a Stress Free Successful Holiday


When entertaining for the holidays it’s important to determine what type of drinks you will want to serve! The best rule of thumb is to always have good water to serve. The other types of drinks you will want to serve depends on the type of party you are having. Will you be serving any type of alcohol? During the cold months, I like to serve a hot drink to warm guests up after being outside. Hot chocolate, coffee, apple cider, or punch are all great options, but keep it simple with only two at the most. Remember, you have to make it. Pro tip: Keep hot drinks hot in the crockpot. Whether you are making your own cider or buying one already made, pour it in the crockpot a few hours before the party starts. As guests arrive you can greet them with a nice warm drink.

If you will be serving alcohol at your holiday party I highly recommend setting up a home bar, even if it’s in a temporary location in your home. Another option is a bar cart. You can read more about setting up a home bar and learn more about bar carts in this article I wrote. 

ProTip: I save a lot of time and much-needed energy by ordering as much as I can online. Find a local grocery store that offers pick up or delivery services. I love being able to pick up my groceries while running my errands without having the hassle of shopping for them myself. It also keeps me stress-free if I don’t have to fight the crowds during the busy holiday shopping season.

Holiday Decor

Entertaining for the holidays can be an event, and your holiday party theme is going to define the atmosphere you want to create. Make a bold statement and go all green. It’s unexpected and can have an understated elegance to it. Have fun with it and go with an Ugly Christmas Sweater theme or a Grinch theme. A good strategy is selecting two standout colors that you can mix and match. By choosing one design element to reference you will create cohesion throughout your holiday party. This makes choosing the actual decorations easier. If you are planning a red and gold themed holiday party and want to incorporate fresh greenery poinsettias are a perfect choice. 



10 Holiday Party Theme Ideas

1. Emerald City. Yes, you can go all green.

2. A White Christmas

3. Red and gold 

4. Santa 

5. Elegant 

6. Plaid

7. Ugly Christmas Sweater

8. The Grinch

9. Your favorite movie

10. Your favorite holiday character


Now that you have your theme and your color palette you need to determine what your focal point will be. It can be one focal point of the room like a Christmas Tree or accents that twinkle, sparkle, and/or shimmer throughout. Going big in one area makes the party come together without making it feel like you overdid it. It also keeps the overall theme cohesive. By using bold, luxe decor, such as items with metallic finishes, will not only add light but also a bit of glam. By using twinkling lights, shimmery tinsel, or sparkly confetti gives the atmosphere a sense of joy and fulfillment. A repeating design element adds a major impact. If I put a wreath in a window, I will put matching wreaths in every window.

When it comes to decorating outdoors you can keep things simple by using external lighting and Christmas Wreaths. If your theme is A White Christmas use white lights to frame your house and put white bows on your wreaths or use flocked ones.

Don’t forget the Mistletoe. A branch of hanging mistletoe is always a holiday favorite. It’s an inexpensive way to add a charming touch of Christmas to any holiday party.


6 Steps in Planning A Holiday Party

1. Choose a theme

2. Choose your colors

3. Determine your focal point

4. Determine your lighting

5. Decorating indoors

6. Decorating outdoors





Holiday Party Lighting

To throw the best holiday party ever it’s important to get the lighting right. The lighting is going to play a major role in the atmosphere. Christmas lights can be the most important way to ready your home for the holidays. A Christmas tree just isn’t the same without lights. Decorating indoors with Christmas lights creates a warm and inviting atmosphere thanks to the low lights. As far as outdoor lighting it’s important to be consistent with the interior.

The number one thing to remember when planning a holiday party is to have fun with it. By planning and preparing ahead your stress levels on party day will be greatly reduced. You will be able to enjoy hosting your party and have time to make your home warm and inviting this holiday season.