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Here Are Our Favorite Ideas for Fast and Fancy Holiday Hosting

published Dec 12, 2019
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Right as the holiday season began, we hosted an event in NYC on fast and fancy holiday hosting. The purpose of the event was to show people that entertaining in your home over the holidays doesn’t have to be a big thing: All it takes is a little forethought and the smallest personal touches to make a party memorable and fun.

While we had fun sipping cider and swapping tips with all of our guests in person, the good news is you didn’t have to be in NYC to benefit! We’ve gathered some of our favorite tips from the event in this post to help you with your own fast and fancy holiday hosting this season.

Our event was set in a cozy library-esque space at Arlo Soho, which we divided into three areas. The first area was inspired by Deep Amber Hills fragrance — one of four limited-edition holiday candles from Glade® — and focused on greeting guests. We shared easy recipes for a welcome appetizer and a welcome pitcher cocktail — two fast and fancy recipes from Kitchn that set the tone for a party and get your guests set up without requiring the host (you) to run around too much at the beginning. Decor included a flock of dark blue (fabric) butterflies across the walls.

In the second area, we got guests warmed up — literally and socially. Inspired by Cozy Cider Sipping® fragrance, guests could help themselves to a cup of cider before grabbing a partner for “Invitation Mad Libs.” That’s our idea for an interactive, attention-grabbing invitation that makes your event stick out on a packed dance card. Make your own or just crib ours!

Credit: Apartment Therapy

The third area featured our gorgeous dinner table inspired by Icy Evergreen Forest scent. Stylized fir trees lined the walls while hanging threaded “snowballs” (pom-poms) brought a sense of play. The tabletop was inspired by Scandinavian Christmas style, with touches of gold complementing pale wood and white, finished with a fir and eucalyptus garland centerpiece. At each place was a card with a playful conversation prompt place card to inspire real connection around the table. They were:

  • Who was your first crush?
  • What’s your secret talent?
  • What the best trip you’ve ever taken?
  • What historical era would you live in, other than today?
  • What was your favorite book when you were a kid? What is it now?
  • Who’s your celebrity crush?
  • What posters did you have on your walls when you were a kid?
  • What was the first concert you went to without and adult?

Scattered throughout the weekend were our holiday hosting workshops, which were led by alternately Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Taryn Williford, Apartment Therapy’s lifestyle director. Both hosts offered their own expert advice and ideas for making holiday hosting fun. This included easy ambiance ideas (fairy lights and scented candles); personalized gift tags for goodie bags; thinking through your party architecture (thinking how people will move through your home, especially if yours is a small space); and thinking through what angles people will use to take pictures at the party.

Emily and Taryn also led the guests in a hands-on crafting project: decorating gift tags and gift bags to add a personal, handmade touch to their holiday gifting. And our gift bags for the event were the perfect size for Glade® holiday 3-wick candles, which each guest received in the scent of their choice.