7 Holiday Hosting Tips

The holidays are approaching quickly! Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas is just a few weeks after. With all the parties and get-togethers with friends and family, some of us are going to end up hosting several of them. Definitely not a bad thing, but as the holiday season gets busier and busier, we don’t always have time to plan out every single detail in advance. So, if you've ever found yourself panicking 30 minutes before guests arrive because your home is just off, these tips are for you.

From how to get guests out of the kitchen, to the only table linen color you need to own, we have the answers for how to bring your A-game, even when you don’t have much time.

Set up the bar outside.

And pair it perfectly with an outdoor fire pit to keep guests warm. This serves a dual purpose, really. It keeps guests from crowding the kitchen, while also getting them outside to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful fall weather. Sometimes being outside also prompts a football game to start on the lawn.

Serve warm appetizers in mugs.

If you’re going to take the first tip and have guests hang outside before dinner, we also recommend offering some kind of easy-to-serve (and easy-to-eat) dish, such as a stew in coffee mugs as a starter. House Beautiful recommends this delicious oyster stew.

Mix and Match.

Most of us have a collection of single, mismatched candlesticks floating around. Consider bringing them together, consolidating and grouping them either as a focal point in the house or on the dinner table. Bonus points if you line them up to resemble a runner down the center of your table.

Shorten your candles.

On the topic of candles, make sure they’re not too high. Nothing is more uninviting than table decor that obstructs conversation. Designer Frank Bostelmann recommends cutting your candles in half, burning them down, or buying shorter ones that way guests across from each other aren’t trying to look through a forest of candles.

Add some vertical variation.

With that collection of various candlesticks, plus cutting, burning down, or buying shorter candles, you should have quite an ensemble of candles with varying heights. Use this to your advantage to create some visual intrigue by varying the heights of the candles.

White linens are always in style.

Moving on from the candles... Don’t fret about which tablecloth to use, and what color might clash with what. A white tablecloth serves as the perfect canvas for putting together both your decor and your Thanksgiving feast. It provides a beautiful, clean starting point. And the white canvas allows you to use whatever colors you want for decor since it doesn’t clash, but rather enhances, just about any spread.

Don’t forget about scents.

Last, but certainly not least, bring in all the senses. Smell plays an important part of the season, but since it’s invisible, it’s all too easy to skip right on past in favor of visual decorations. Don’t underestimate the power of the right scents. And nothing gets that cozy, Thanksgiving, holiday scent going quicker than a bowl of clove-pierced oranges. Looking for other ideas? Check out House Beautiful’s roundup on how to make your home smell just like a bakery.

As promised, easy tips to get your home in tip-top holiday party shape. Stay tuned for some fun holiday decorating ideas. Do you have any home prep tips you would like to share? Comment below!


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