These Apps Will Help You Entertain for the Holidays

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd for The Kitchn)

Holiday entertaining is in full swing, and I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do everything by myself. Gone are the days when I slaved over the styling, the shopping, the cooking and cleaning on my own: Lessons were learned during the Great Blender Explosion of 2011 and the Cannoli Stuffing Incident of 2008.

Lately, I’m thinking about letting the sharing economy help out: You know, the legion of apps that deliver goods and offer service professionals to do just about everything? There are so many start-ups competing for your business right now that you could, conceivably, throw a holiday party without lifting a finger. You know, like fancy people do. Except with these apps, all that help won’t break your budget. Here are a few ways the sharing economy can lend a hand (or seven) with holiday entertaining— using them all might be a bit overkill, but a little help here and there can take a bit of the hostess edge off, and that sounds like a good time to me.

Planning and Prepping

First things first: let’s figure out the menu. Don’t limit yourself to your boring go-tos if you’re feeling ambitious— learn from the pros by watching tons of instructional videos on Rouxbe or Skillshare, so you can wow your guests with homemade pasta or gelato. And if you need a pasta maker or an ice cream machine but don’t want to buy one just for one night, Yerdle will connect you with a neighbor you can rent one from.

Tidying Up

If your house is in less than party-ready shape, help from
Handy can come give your paint a touch-up, fix that toilet that keeps running, or hang that new flat screen TV. And cleaners from
Exec can swing by and give your whole house a scrub so it sparkles for your guests.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)
Let’s Get Cooking

Ready to shop for food and drinks?
Instacart will deliver groceries from local supermarkets in an hour, and
Saucey will deliver all the libations your party needs, along with accoutrements like swizzle sticks and olives. And if you want to skip cooking a dish or two, forget take-out:
Kitchit will send a private chef to your home to cook select dishes, and
Munchery will send ready-to-serve chef-cooked dishes to your door.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)
Setting the Table

Washio will dry clean and deliver your table linens, as well as your party outfit, so both you and your table look your best.
Bloom That will send fresh cut flowers or arrangements next day, and a runner from
Postmates can run the odds and ends errands, like picking up taper candles from that shop you like the next town over, or getting your favorite crusty bread from the local bakery.
Party Time

Get gorgeous before guests arrive with on-demand beauty apps like
Beautified who can send manicurists, blow-outs and make-up artists to your door. Need help passing appetizers or tending bar?
Task Rabbit will send someone over to assist.

When It’s all Over Have your Exec friends back (or helpers from Handy or Task Rabbit) to clean up the mess, and while they’re slaving away, book yourself an on-demand massage from

Greetings! Digital lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch here. I am BEYOND thrilled to be writing for Apartment Therapy! When I’m not digitally-lifestyling it up, I’m tweaking something-or-other in my house, so I’m always trolling Apartment Therapy for inspo.

I’m also a regular correspondent on the Today Show, and the smart home expert for HGTV, where I help audiences understand the ever-evolving world of home technology in an easy, approachable way.

Anyhoo, why am I here, exactly? I’m on a mission to tackle those home tech headaches that make you want to rip your router out of the wall and go live in a yurt. Because, can be just… hard. To navigate all this tech stuff. To keep things up and running, you know? I’m here to help.

For more tech hijinks, check out my blog, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter.