How To Have A Stress-Free Holiday Soirée
With Christmas dinner, New Year’s Eve and every gift exchange and get-together in between, we’re here to help with shortcuts and great ideas to make your holiday hosting a breeze.
Do Away With Door Duty
Spare yourself the disruption of answering the door by hanging a sign that lets guests know they’re welcome to come in. Clip a few winter florals (or draw something festive on a chalkboard) for an extra-special holiday touch.
Offer A Simple Signature Drink
As any seasoned host will tell you, the key to a good party is to keep guests’ glasses full. Get your festivities off to a smooth start with an aperitif station by the front door. Whether you set out a fan favorite or serve up one of your own concoctions (this drink was made with pink champagne, thyme and blueberries), guests can just grab a glass and get to mingling.
Make A DIY Bouquet Station
Guests love to bring flowers, but a host doesn’t always have time to dig out a vase. Instead, give visitors a place to display their bouquet by setting out a few empty vases, a pitcher of water, scissors and elastics — guests will enjoy picking the perfect vessel and you’ll be free to keep hosting.
Create A Beautiful Buffet & Set Up A Self-Serve Bar
Consider a buffet instead of serving a formal sit-down meal. Not only will it keep the vibe relaxed but your guests will enjoy more informal chatting as they eat. The food can be just as gourmet as what you might serve at a seated dinner, and the prep will be easier. With no need for individual place settings, there’s more space for a pretty tablescape.
Guests will want something else to sip once they’ve finished their aperitif, so be one step ahead with a bar that includes wine and beer. Don’t forget a bucket of chilled water, either — people who don’t drink or are driving will appreciate not having to ask for a glass.
Don’t Forget To Label
For those with food allergies or dietary restrictions, food labels are a necessity. Guests won’t have to quietly ask and it’ll save you time explaining what’s on the table. These chalkboard signs are especially charming.
Make The Most Of Your Space
Surface space is a must-have when entertaining, especially in the living room. Boost functionality by decluttering your coffee table and repurposing other pieces — side tables and poufs topped with trays are perfect spots to set down drinks — and creating a setup that works for conversation. Be ruthless and remove things like lamps or tchotchkes that take up too much space.
Prep The Powder Room
Small details make all the difference when it comes to the powder room. Delight guests with little luxuries such as a scented candle, hand cream and decorative disposable hand towels.
Outdoor lanterns give guests something to admire as they depart. Set on a snow-dusted bench, they’ll cast a warm glow and leave a lasting impression.