During the holidays, most of us open our home to numerous friends and family. Whether you are expecting party guests or overnight visitors, holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful. With just a little planning, entertaining can be something you look forward to enjoying. The following tips will help you entertain during the holidays with ease. 
General Tips for Successful Hosting:
• Do all pre-entertaining cleaning in the days before guests arrive. 
• Leave plenty of time to get yourself ready. If you feel better about yourself, you’ll be more relaxed while entertaining!
• Make guests immediately feel welcomed by greeting each of them at the door. 
• Introduce guests, then mingle, frequently checking on guests. 
• Smile! Unexpected issues can arise, but if you smile and keep your cool, guests will feel more comfortable.

Ideas for Hosting Holiday Parties:
This holiday season, you may be planning one or more holiday parties at your home. The key to hosting a successful party is the preparation. Following these ideas will allow you to be organized so you can have fun at your own party:
Make a plan. Several days before the party, make a list of all the tasks you need to complete and a timeline for completion. Having a plan of attack will reduce stress the day of the party. 
Set out a self-serve drink & dessert bar. Set up a drink table stocked with soda, water, beer, wine, and other drinks. Allowing guests an easy way to serve themselves guarantees that you won’t be playing bartender. 
Dessert tables. They are great additions to parties because you can set out your desserts before the party. When guests are ready for dessert, they can just help themselves.  And, guests love walking into a party and seeing a dessert table. It always makes a party feel extra special! 
• Prep the Food. When planning the party food, choose items that can be prepared beforehand. Keeping prepared snacks, such as gourmet cheese, on hand also helps if your food runs low. 
• Don’t let guests leave empty-handed. Give all guests a small favor, such as a homemade cookie mix in a jar or chocolates, as they leave. They’ll love the small reminder of a great evening! 
Ideas for Hosting Overnight Guests
The holidays can also often mean overnight guests. Paying attention to simple details helps your overnight guests feel right at home. Here are a few ideas to ensure your guests are relaxed:
• Provide extra toiletries. Gather toiletries, such as shampoo, soap, lotion, razors, and toothbrushes, in case guests forget something. Place all items in a pretty basket in the guest room, where guests can easily access it. 
• Make needed items easy to find. Guests may be the first ones up in the morning, so make it easy for them to find what they need. Set out towels, tea and coffee, and breakfast goodies where they will see them. 
• Add that extra touch. An inexpensive bouquet of flowers or a candle will add a luxurious touch for your guests. Anything that makes them feel more at home will be appreciated. 
Following these holiday entertaining tips with help make holiday entertaining a piece of cake, so you can enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!  


Posted on 2014-12-03 by Deanna Talwalkar