December 14th, 2023

Hosting for This Holiday Season – Your Ultimate Checklist

Holiday Decor Present Table with Candles

As the holidays are nearly here, family time is at the core of the season. Transforming our homes into a festive place is crucial to hosting those near and far. Gatherings can be stressful with many moving parts, but there are ways to simplify and make it an enjoyable process. No need to get lost in unrealistic expectations from Pinterest or past family get-togethers – we’ve got your back, sharing tips on how to entertain with ease during the most wonderful time of the year.

1) Plan Ahead
Assembling essential items beforehand is important when planning for a party, so make sure to create a list of what you need days ahead of time. Before guests arrive, burn some scented candles, turn on music, light the tree and set a warm ambience.

  • Tidy up but consolidate by cleaning only areas that are going to be used.
  • Figure out how many people are expected and provide more than enough to eat.
  • Develop a plan for cooking times to schedule your cuisine spread.
  • Make sure food containers are ready for leftovers and there’s room in the fridge for storing.

2) Set the Table
With the meal being a main star of any occasion that most look forward to, presentation is everything. There’s an abundance of tablescape variations that will motivate you and help showcase your dining table.

  • Start by picking a theme, get elaborate or keep it simple and traditional. Less is more and be mindful of table space.
  • Choose a tablecloth or runner as a base layer and add placemats for glassware and utensils.
  • Select nice shiny dishware to display your meal; the clink of glass can make a meal more remarkable as compared to using cheap plasticware.
  • Add life to the arrangement with lit candles, greenery down the center and top it off with accents of red ribbon and pinecones.
holiday place setting

3) Serve Hors D’oeuvres
A quick way to satisfy company is to start with appetizers. What are the holidays without feasting on a plentiful amount of food? Make sure to provide crowd-pleasing munchies while people await the main course.

  • Offer an assortment of various snacks (sweet and salty) while being mindful of any restrictions.
  • Pick out small finger foods so guests can taste a little bit of everything.
  • Craft your own charcuterie – get imaginative! Serve on a wood board full of cheeses, crackers, dips and spreads shaped like a wreath or snowman.
  • Remember to lay out munchies in multiple areas so people don’t have to crowd the kitchen.

4) Organize A Bar Cart
Make your role easier by allowing visitors the freedom to craft their own cocktails and beverages from a self-serve bar.

  • Present items like an ice bucket, straws, garnishes, napkins, stirrers and some attractive glassware.
  • Stick to a palatable red and white wine selection, along with an assortment of spirits for mixing delightful concoctions.Include hot chocolate, coffee, juices, tea and soft drinks to take care of all ages and tastes.
  • Include hot chocolate, coffee, juices, tea and soft drinks to take care of all ages and tastes.
  • Add liqueurs such as Baileys or Kahlua, which blend so well in a warm cup of cocoa for a sweet combination.

5) Provide Entertainment
For those not helping in the kitchen, having activities available is important. Whether it be a football game or monopoly, provide something extra for company to enjoy.

  • Arrange natural congregating spots and enough seating to fit each guest comfortably.
  • Put out board games, puzzles and toys for the kids.
  • The TV remote should be readily accessible to anyone who prefers to hang out on the couch.
  • Coordinate a melodic playlist to lighten the mood and even consider karaoke.

If you’re an experienced host or it’s your first time, we hope these ideas are inspiring and get you excited about hosting family and friends for a special occasion they will always remember. This holiday season can be hassle-free with some forethought and a little help from our team at POE.