Tips and Tricks for a Flawless Holiday Party


As you’re busy preparing your succulent turkey or Honey Baked Ham, creamy potatoes, casserole upon casserole, it’s easy to overlook small details that can really amplify the experience at your holiday gathering. Take your holiday spread up a notch with festive cocktails, expert hostess tips, and tableware that rocks your party AND makes for a speedy clean-up!

When inviting guests to mingle before the main course, consider asking each of your friends and family to bring a favorite batch of their signature drink. Wine punch, spiced apple sangria, and cranberry mimoas passed around the appetizer table give guests a chance to show off their mixologist skills – and it keeps them out of the kitchen! Relive your college days with red and green Santa-hat jello shots, or save room for a liquid dessert with a peppermint white Russian (just add peppermint schnapps or vodka!).

As the party progresses, to ensure any spillage crises or over-self-served imbibers don’t threaten to wreck the swanky soiree you’ve carefully curated for them, try these tips:

  • Use available surfaces around the house for extra napkins and pitchers of water and cups. Keeping guests hydrated can be a huge help.
  • Strategically place trash cans where everyone can see them to eliminate deserted cups all over the mantle and used toothpicks in your great-grandmother’s antique vase– and to discourage guests from wandering into every room to find the garbage.
  • Choose your stance on cell phones: want to indulge Aunt Petunia’s YouTube sharing obsession, and keep any children in attendance occupied on the iPad? Frame your wifi password and place it somewhere prominent. Or, to keep those prone to wallflowering engaged in the conversation, pull the plug on the router.

Here’s our best tip for a shatter-proof and stress-free way to halt the marathon of between-course dishwashing excursions: have a paper goods holiday tabletop spread! Ditch the Dixie and chuck the Chinette – our favorite sources for beautiful and sturdy plates in various sizes, plus cups, napkins, and even utensils that are totally disposable include Sophistiplate [] and Harlow and Grey []. With so many gorgeous colors and patterns to mix and match, this is a total holiday game-changer when it comes to clean-up.