I love to entertain in our home and I especially love to entertain during the holidays. There’s something about the smells surrounding the holidays, the glow of candles and laughter filling our house that just makes holiday entertaining feel magical.
I know entertaining doesn’t pump through everyone’s veins, like it does through mine, so I thought I’d share some of my best holiday entertaining tips to help your holiday hosting run smoothly this year. 🙂
#1 Plan ahead
If you know you have a party coming up it’s best to do as much of the shopping and prep work as far in advance as possible. Do all the grocery shopping at least 4-5 days in advance so you have plenty of time to prep the food. Click HERE to download my free printable shopping templates. Make it easy on yourself and buy pre-prepped food, like bagged salads, pre-washed/chopped veggies, etc. Any food that can be made ahead of time, prepare it the day before the party. Fresh fruit, and other fresh items that need to be prepped, prep them the morning of the party and store them in the fridge. Don’t save anything until the last minute because there will always be things that come up that you won’t be expecting!
Decorating for a party can get expensive so my #1 tip is to shop your own home. Typically our parties center around the living room and the kitchen so I steal decorations from other rooms in the house to get the “party rooms” to look exactly how I want them.
For anything you still need the Better Homes and Gardens line at Walmart has gorgeous, affordable options. These limited edition metallic dinner plates were less than $3.50 each and the salad plates were less than $2.75! Layered with my china and some chargers I already had, they make a gorgeous holiday table setting.
# 3 Borrow stuff from friends
When I have big parties I always use lots of pretty dishes and candles holders to dress up the table; the candle light makes everything on the table look beautiful.
If you don’t have any, don’t worry, that’s what your friends are for! My friends borrow bowls, platters, pitchers, candle holders, etc. from me all the time and I love it, so I’m sure your friends won’t mind either. I always love to see how creative they get with my things and sometimes it gives me ideas for my next party!
#4 Setting the mood
As I mentioned earlier, there’s something magical about candle light at a party. An easy way to decorate is to sprinkle tea lights and candles all around your house. Light them about 15 minutes before the guests arrive and they will set the mood for your party.
The glow of the candles will warm up your house and make your guests feel welcomed. Dimmers are also a great way to set the perfect ambiance. If you have dimmers on your lights, turn them down so the lights have that magical glow (you know the one I’m talking about).
Flowers are a must. No matter the season, using flowers to decorate for a party is an inexpensive way to decorate but also a great way to make your house feel homey and inviting. 🙂 Buy bundles of flowers for a few dollars, split them up and put them in the kitchen, on the coffee table, in the bathroom by the sink, and anywhere else you can think of. Use vases, mugs, jars or all of them to hold the flowers and make them look beautiful throughout your home.
#6 Let it go
Last but not least, my biggest piece of advice is to do what you can and then let the rest go.
Prep as much as you are able to, decorate as much as you can, and when your guests arrive, anything that didn’t get done, let it go. If you spend the entire party thinking about everything else you should have done then you won’t enjoy yourself and your guests will pick up on the fact that you seem stressed. As soon as the guests start arriving, say to yourself, “what’s done is done and now it’s time to enjoy myself!” Say it, and mean it, and you’ll end up having a fabulous time! 🙂
I hope all of your holiday parties are fabulous and if you have any additional holiday entertaining tips, I would LOVE to hear them! Cheers!
Shop this tablescape –
- BHG limited edition metallic dinnerware, large plates $3.42, small plates $2.47- only available in Walmart stores (Hurry, you’ll want to get some because they’re gorgeous!)
- Natural Table Runner, $13.96 – available online and in stores
- Jute Placemats, $2.74 – only available in Walmart stores
Follow Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart to see what’s coming out soon!
Disclaimers – I am part of the BHG Live Better Blogger Network; this post is sponsored by BHG at Walmart. All opinions are my own.
I have included affiliate links to the products I used for this makeover, if you buy through the link I get a small commission but you don’t pay a cent more than you normally would. Thank you for supporting Ask Anna!