Hosting a holiday party, however, can sometimes be A LOT. Like, are we the only ones that think hosting makes people totally freak out?! But don’t worry! Holiday entertaining is super fun and with the right amount of planning and preparation. If you know what’s up, you can totally rock the hostess gig! This post includes everything that you need to know to SLAY when playing holiday host. So that you can enjoy the night and host a totally vibey holiday party.
12 Holiday Hosting Tips
Make a list.
Seriously, DON’T underestimate the power of a list. Do yourself a favor and start your list as soon as you know you’re going to host a party. Your future self will thank you. Jot down anything and everything you can think of, that way you know what all needs to be done and bought. You might get a little overwhelmed at first, but chill babe, this is just the very first step.
Stock up on essentials.
Load your pantry and fridge with alllll the party essentials and you’ll never have to worry about your guests overdramatically claiming you have nothing to eat. Buy ALL the cookies and crackers. You can get chips, dips, finger foods – you catch our drift. Seriously, you can even get a ridiculously large container of mixed nuts and you’re set. You would be SHOCKED how many grocery store items are made elsewhere and imported. So just check the label for made in USA. This is especially true when it comes to cheese, I know crazy right! Here are some of our favorite go-to party essential snacks:
- All-American snack crackers
- Planters cashews
- Cheese Crisps
- American Made Cheeses
- Made in USA Potato Chips
Keep drinks on hand.
Just like with snacks, you’ll want to have drinks at the ready too. Stock up on soda and mixers (like this American-made simple syrup). Maybe even some hot cocoa to match the holiday vibe. Then, of course, make sure you have plenty of American Made vodka, rum, wine, and whatever boozy beverages your guests are likely to crave. Our favorites are Tito’s Vodka, Juneshine Hard Kombucha or cocktails, wines from Napa Valley, American Born Moonshine, Barr Hill Gin, Mitcher’s Bourbon, and anything from Stone or Ballast Point Brewery for beer.
Speaking of drinks, you’re going to want plenty of napkins. We adore these festive ones! You can totally order plenty of them well in advance and hide them in your guest room drawers until it’s time to use them.
Keep it simple.
There’s literally NO need to plan the most extravagant, over the top party if you want to impress your besties. You can keep things simple and still throw a party they’ll be talking about until next year. Be reasonable with your expectations, keep things manageable, and remember that sometimes, simple is totally the way to go.
Send invites early.
People get crazy busy around the holidays. So, if you want to host one of the best holiday parties of the year, you’ll need to send your party invites early.
Giving your guests as much advance notice as possible ensures that the people who you really want at your party will be available. The easiest way to send invites is online, but if you’re inviting a load of people who aren’t as tech-savvy, you can’t go wrong with traditional invitations by mail. We’re feeling black, non traditional, SIMPLE but cool invites like these. The cool thing about these is they’re digital, editable templates. So you can add your info, send them digitally to friends and family, or print and mail. Yep, they’re American-made too!
Plan your meals in advance.
When planning your meals, be sure to include side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. But also keep in mind how much room you have on your holiday table.
Accept help if necessary.
Seriously, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Hosting a party is a lot of work! Once you send out invites, there’s a good chance your parents, your bestie or your fav auntie will start begging to help. Let them!!! It’ll make the whole experience so much more chill for you!
Choose a serving setup.
This is one tip that a lot of hosts don’t think about, but it’s one that baddie hostesses know well. Where you set things up is just as important as what you set up. People tend to gather near the food. So you’ll want to put your food stations wherever you’re comfortable with your guests gathering. For the best flow and to avoid overcrowding, consider setting up several stations in different places throughout your home. This is ESPECIALLY important regarding where you put the bar. I mean, let’s be real… we’re all going to be by the bar. So be strategic with where you set up your booze ladies.
You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen once guests arrive. If there’s a part of your holiday meal that can be made in advance, take advantage!
OK so, there are some things you definitely don’t want to cook until the last minute. No one likes a cheese dip that has been sitting in the fridge for a day – or three. But there are a lot of crowd-friendly recipes that you can make ahead of time. Even if you just have to warm them up real quick.
If you can’t cook the whole dish in advance, try prepping your ingredients to give yourself a head start. Put those meal prep skills to good use, girl!
And if all else fails… there’s no shame in the Postmates / DoorDash game. We’re not kidding. Order it! You can cook a few things, order a few things, and plate them! Win, win.
Play festive music.
Good music can totally set the mood. For a holiday party, it’s easy to find the right tunes. Just use your favorite music streaming app, find a holiday playlist that matches your vibe, and keep it playing all night long.
This wireless speaker from American brand McIntosh makes it easy to play music for a crowd.
Pick a theme.
Any event planner will tell you one of the more fun parts of planning holiday gatherings is picking a theme. The theme is entirely up to you. You can go with a color scheme or focused on items like ornaments, christmas trees, even snowy or ice vibes. Whatever kind of vibe you’re going for, a theme makes it easy to plan the rest of the details, including your holiday decor.
Set up plenty of trash bins.
Don’t forget about the not so fun part of hosting a party – cleaning up. Clean-up should be a breeze. Even if you have overnight guests who are willing to help clean up, you want to make it easy for your guests to pick up after themselves throughout the night. The best way to do this is by putting extra trash cans where people can see them.