The holidays are here, and with them comes a touch of frenzy about being organized enough to host guests, both planned and unplanned. Creating a meaningful and memorable holiday experience for your loved ones doesn’t have to be stressful — as experts in all things entertaining, we were invited by Good Grit Magazine to share our tips for hosting (plus a few hacks!) in their holiday issue and we had to share them here, too! Consider these tips to keep the spirits festive and your prep stress-free.
1. Get the best of both worlds with traditional décor with a personal twist If you want to add your own distinctive touch to a holiday table arrangement, concentrate on one typical holiday hue and match it with vibrant complementary colors. We would include rich camel tones into the tablescape in place of the traditional Christmas red to add buttery, neutral layers that are akin to cinnamon lattes and gingerbread sweets. Offering familiar and novel experiences to visitors maximizes their comfort and joy.
2. Always be prepared for impromptu gatherings Always have a bottle or two (or three or seven) of cold champagne on hand as well as a set of humorous cocktail napkins so that you can entertain any unexpected guests right off the bat. To dress up simple party snacks, place moreish salty and sweet pantry staples like chocolates, mixed nuts, and potato chips in beautiful bowls. We’re pretty certain there will be a crowd gathered around the sweets and treats.
3. Purchase host gifts early and have a stash you can access throughout the holidays Even better, you can pre-wrap these presents and put them under the tree to save time during the hectic peak party season. We adore this time-saving tip because it will make your décor feel finished with gifts under the tree and make them easy to grab and go when you're rushing out the door in your best party clothing (fashionably late, of course). To distinguish which gift is which, a pro tip is to attach a temporary tag or coding system to the bottom of the bag.
4. Time-saving menus for place settings This is one of our favorite holiday hacks. A menu can be written by hand or printed out and attached to a holiday card. You can either insert the menu inside the card or cut off the back to make the front and back of the card one solid piece. As you find a use for the extra cards from the previous year and a reason to buy new ones at everyone's favorite after-Christmas sales, you'll also be adding style to your table.
5. Collaborative playlists to set the tone
We love sending out a collaborative playlist to guests in advance with an opportunity to add their favorite tracks to help with party preparation. We start listening to the playlist a week prior to the event, picturing all the fun that will be had at our soirée, to get us excited about the celebrations and hosting duties that lie ahead.
6. All praise party punch We adore the adaptability that a festive punch provides; spice up your recipe to raise the spirits and include a zero-proof version so that everyone can join in on the party. Your punch can eve be pre-made to give your festive table a splash of color.
7. For the time-crunched Consider incorporating dried flowers into your table settings and décor. The arrangements will last you for the duration of the season, relieving you of the stress of maintaining a routine for changing out your florals. During the holidays, we could all use a little stress relief, and doing this can free up your schedule so you can watch more Hallmark movies.
8. Use the HiNote app for personable, digital invites
When a text message just won't cut it and you need a quick way to invite people, use the HiNOTE app. Its sophisticated, pre-designed templates have a ton of personality and are simple to alter so that you may personalize them with information about your party. (Our go-to items right now are the martini memo and the antique silver tray.) To send through text or DM, just pick one of the adorable designs, provide the necessary information, and press one button. Voilà! Get the party started.
9. No table linens? No problem Using a pretty blanket or throw as table linen is one of our favorite party hacks. The texture ups the coziness level of your gathering, creating the ideal mood for the holidays and private dinner parties at home
10. Repurpose what you already own
With a few seasonal touches, organic textures, neutral tones, and ornamental items can quickly change your home to reflect the most delightful season of the year. You don't need to buy a brand-new assortment of furniture and accessories to give your home a fashionable and festive feel. Your vase arrangements will feel more festive with a variety of foliage. With a little rosemary, a cinnamon stick, an orange slice, or a pinecone—all of which are conveniently available at your neighborhood grocery store or in nature—your standard plates or glasses can be made cheery! In addition, a lot of these work well as components in mulled wine, which will give the house a lovely Christmassy smell.
11. Embrace incorporating personal or traditional details into your entertaining Celebrate what makes you who you are, and guests will enjoy embracing that too. You can easily add authentically you-inspired features to your party by customizing the cuisine, décor, and music. Our advice: your visitors will appreciate these unique moments much more since they tell a story of what makes you, you.
From the corporate and private Christmas parties we’ve produced to the holiday decorations we’ve designed for some very special clients, we consider ourselves well-versed in the art of holiday entertaining. We hope you feel inspired and empowered to create your own memorable gathering. Our team is excited to see what you come up with! Tag us on Instagram so we can share the moment with you. A very happy holiday season to you all!
Images Courtesy of Dagnushka for Good Grit Magazine