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The Art of Hosting: Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

Everyone loves a good holiday party. If you are the one hosting the event, as much enjoyment as it can be to welcome friends and family into your home, putting together the endeavor can also be stressful. 


From the invites to the cooking (or catering), here’s a game plan for hosting a holiday get-together like a pro. 


Settle on a Theme


There’s nothing wrong with simply opting for a run-of-the-mill holiday theme with the usual decorations – tinsel, lights, red, greens, etc. If you want to take things a step further and really impress your guests, opt for a theme that will create a vibe. This could be anything from an ugly sweater party, a holiday movie-themed soiree, or a glammed-up Christmas in Vegas affair. 


Get Invites Out Early


Once you have your guest list together, get those invites out at least three weeks in advance. Any sooner and people could have plans already made. Digital invitations allow for a quicker response time. Still, if you want to go the old-school route, paper invitations add a certain element of whimsical holiday nostalgia. 


To Cook or To Cater?


If you don’t fancy yourself a cook, or if you know you’re prone to getting overwhelmed in the kitchen, then opting for catering is a viable solution. Keep in mind that this is the busiest time of the year for caterers. The top caterers in town will likely be taking orders weeks in advance, and even grocery store deli/bakery departments will need a few day’s heads up.


If you plan on doing all the cooking yourself, plan ahead and cook as much in advance as you possibly can. 


Now, in our opinion, the best option is going to be the potluck route. Asking guests to bring their favorite dish to share not only saves you money and the stress of cooking but also ensures a variety of foods to enjoy!


Offer a Mix of Drinks


Offering a signature holiday drink, typically a punch or good egg nog, isn’t required, but it will undoubtedly be appreciated by guests. 


What is essential, though, is offering a good mix of drinks. This includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re going to be serving wine, start with something light and save the heavier wines for the main meal. 


Designate a Coat Room


…Or at least a coat corner. Many parts of the country (including Central Texas) can get pretty chilly in December, and your guests are going to need somewhere to throw all those oversized winter coats. 


Free up some closet space in your entryway, designate a DIY guest room if possible, or, at the very least, invest in a coat rack ahead of time. 


Cheerful Vibes and Party Essentials


Make sure that your party feels like a party. This means curating a holiday playlist (or at least selecting some festive Spotify channels) of merry tunes. You may want to have a classic Christmas movie playing on the TV in the background. Of course, there are other party essentials that should also not be overlooked:


  • Make sure bathrooms are well stocked with toilet paper
  • Keep cleaning supplies (club soda, paper towels) handy for spills
  • Be sure to have plenty of ice
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

It’s only natural to want to invite friends and family into your home during the holidays when you love where you live. To learn more about the master-planned Crosswinds community, contact us today.