Entertaining for the holidays made easy

Holiday entertaining

Well, we’re into the homestretch now – another holiday season is only weeks away. If you’re planning on entertaining family and friends for an intimate lunch or dinner – or a big bash, here are a few suggestions to make it simpler – and spectacular.

Why buy when you can rent? If you don’t have enough place settings, glasses and cutlery for a large number of guests – or your current place settings and utensils are too chipped or scratched to use for a party – consider renting what you need at a nearby or online party rental store. It’s not only cheaper than investing in new wares, it will save you having to find a place to store it all until your next party.

Prep, prep, prep. Most of us barely enjoy our own holiday parties or spend next to no time with our guests because we’re bouncing around, hanging up coats, serving drinks or doing last-minute cooking in the kitchen. Organize your menu, dishes and punch bowl in advance and prepare or order as much as possible the day before or in the hours preceding everyone’s arrival. That way you can relax (a little) and have fun like everyone else.

Test before you turn on. Imagine painstakingly wrapping your Christmas tree or home with festive lights only to discover they don’t work – it’s happened to us! Simply test them out first.

Avoid cheesy themes. Unless you’re throwing a holiday party for kids, stay away from decorating your home with the perennial elves or ubiquitous mistletoe or out-of-left-field themes like a “Swiss Noel” or “19th century Christmas”. Instead, build your theme – if you must (and you don’t necessarily need one!), choose something special and meaningful to you and your family.

How does it look? Human beings are extremely visual but we often forget that a complete experience also includes sounds, smells and other sensations. Once your holiday decorations are up, don’t forget to introduce fresh flowers or fragrant candles. And turn on the music to set just the right mood. You can even have a few comfy blankets on-hand in case some of your guests get chilly.

What are your favorite and most useful holiday entertaining tips? Why not share them with the Shop Talk blog forum now?

Did you know: Home is where the holidays are

While many of us visit relatives or travel, 71% of Americans spend the holiday season comfortably at home. How about you?  (Source)

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