5 Ways to Make Holiday Entertaining Way Easier This Year

published Nov 13, 2019
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Credit: Creative Studio

If it’s your first time hosting for the holidays, or even if you’re a seasoned expert, planning a dinner soirée or a simple cocktail party can feel like a lot. This time of year, we like to remind ourselves that it’s never as complicated as it seems, even if everyone is a lot busier and expectations are a bit higher. With a few years of holiday hosting under our belt, these are the things we’re trying to remember to keep it simple.

Set the Mood the Night Before

Deciding on lighting and selecting a signature scent are the fastest ways to create a warm sensory experience. For the holidays, dim lighting and twinkly candles set the perfect mood. The night before your big event, take some time to see what lighting feels cozy and go ahead and light up some fresh candles to take them for a test spin. This limited-edition Deep Amber Hills candle from Glade® is one of our favorite festive scents of the season, offering a tart note of blackcurrant set against a base of elemi oil (a relative of frankincense and myrrh). In addition to your tabletop, don’t forget to add candles to bathrooms, your entryway, and bedroom for an extra festive touch. 

Credit: Creative Studio

Don’t Be Shy About Asking For Help

The holidays are all about conviviality, and we all know how much effort it takes to host a good party. Don’t be afraid to ask your closest friends for a little extra help when you’re hosting. Most guests are happy to contribute, whether that means creating a custom playlist, offering to help collect guests’ bags and jackets, or picking up dessert on their way over. 

Make Beverages Self-Service

Setting up a self-serve bar with pitchers of cocktails and mocktails before your guests arrive is the ultimate time-saver. You can even set it up the night before, and mix drink pitchers to store in the fridge overnight. Additionally, setting the table with carafes of water will save everyone lots of time when it’s time to sit down for food. 

Credit: Creative Studio

Give Guests Some Cues

When guests are arriving, the first thing they’ll probably want to know is, “Where should I put my coat?” Set up a designated spot for guests’ belongings, whether it’s your bedroom or just a chair you’ve moved near the door. If you’re entertaining in a small space, the next question your guests will have is the best place to park themselves. If you’re hosting a dinner party, make it easier for everyone by setting out place card holders the night before. Yes, it feels a little pretentious for a casual soirée, but it will also make your guests feel immediately welcome. 

Save the Dishes for the Morning After

After dinner or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served, don’t worry about the dishes. After all, you’re hosting to spend time with your guests, and anything that distracts from that is a downer for everyone. Don’t make the amateur mistake of doing dishes while the party is at its height…just leave everything rinsed and ready to go in the sink or dishwasher for tomorrow morning. Your guests will thank you.