10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess

10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess

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Looking for holiday hosting tips? Everyone is really busy around the holiday season. In fact, everyone is so busy that even people who love to host gatherings can be a little overwhelmed.  Here are 10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess that will have you ready for anything that comes at you this holiday season!


10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess:


  • Do one big, deep down clean of the house at the beginning of the season.  Keep it up with two cleaning focuses per week.  Always keep the kitchen, bathroom, and living room on point for drop in holiday guests. Split up the rest of the upkeep into easy to manage tasks.  (Hint – spray down your counters every day).

Be Flexible

  • Holiday plans change frequently for everyone.  Lots of family to see, sick kids, obligations through school, and other friends having gatherings as well.  Be willing to adjust the plan for the evening.  If a bit later seems better for a majority of your guests, switch it up.  Perhaps even hosting a Holiday Open House can help to accommodate everyone’s busy schedule!


Keep your Bar Simple & Festive

  • Stick to a good red, a good white, and a holiday cocktail.  Choose something off of our cocktail roundup! Use festive paper straws, cinnamon sugar rims, holiday stirrers – anything to make the bar cheery.  Get your crockpot ready with this Hot Apple Cider (Spiked With Rum) as another option.

More holiday rum drinks….

10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess MUST include setting the mood!

Set the Holiday Mood

  • Your home will likely already be decorated for the holiday if you’re throwing a holiday party.  If you feel the need to add something, you can always add candlelight or festive string lights.  You can add to the mood with holiday tunes in the background as well.


Bring Out Your Best

  • The only paper or plastic I use for holiday gatherings is with the invitation.  This article on 10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess wouldn’t be complete without saying that.  Otherwise, leave the plastic red cups in the cabinet.  Using cloth napkins, and nice dishes add to the feeling that something special is happening.  I’ll often bring out the silver that has been passed down to me as well. I don’t bring out everything – just a few pieces and I pair them with a mix of every day dishes alongside China.  Not everything has to match perfectly to make your guests feel really special.

Give Furniture Pieces a New Meaning

  • You know that sidebar you usually only house candles on? Transform it into your bar.  Decorate it with red berry branches or evergreens.  How about that shelf in the living room that’s at just the right height for appetizers? Use it as an area that can hold a couple of pre-dinner treats for your guests.  The bottom line? Create spaces where guests can congregate and mingle.

10 Holiday Entertaining Hacks for the Entertainer - Sweet Humble Home

Catering Options

  • There is absolutely no shame in having your whole party or even just portions of it catered.  If you love a dish you had at a restaurant, ask them how much it would be to serve the number of guests you have should you order a tray.  You’d be surprised, often, it’s less expensive to purchase your favorite dish for a party rather than all of the ingredients to make it. It wouldn’t be less expensive long term, but if it’s a one off dish for you, you may want to check it out.  There are times that I have the main dish catered, and make all of the sides on my own.  If anything can be made ahead – do it.  It saves you precious time on the day of the party.

Create a Kid Space

  • Make space for the children that are invited to your party, make a space for them.  Good ideas for holiday get together kid spaces include:
    • Cookie decorating table (set this up ahead of time and monitored by parents as kids participate). In the past I have used my son’s IKEA table that he uses for homework every day.  I put four of his little chairs around it, set out cookie decorations in little dishes that have tops, and include white paper lunch bags that they can decorate and place their creations into.
    • Coloring station – place out different holiday coloring books along with crayons for them to busy themselves with.
    • Ornament making – I pre-make ornaments with popsicle sticks that the kids can color or decorate with simple crafting supplies.
      • TIP:  Put out two or three smocks to keep their party clothes from getting dirty!

Keep the Coffee On – Along With the Hot Cocoa!

  • Not everyone will want an alcoholic drink.  Keep a pot of coffee on, and hot water ready for cocoa.  You can set up your own hot cocoa bar easily, and it can be super festive!  Even the kids will love to create their own hot cocoa creations!  Don’t forget to refresh cream and sugar for the coffee, and keep your whipped cream for your cocoa bar on ice.

(TIP) – I LOVE this Cuisinart 12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System.  I use it everyday in our kitchen and find it especially helpful at parties!

Enjoy Your Party with these 10 Tips for the Holiday Hostess!

  • You’ll hear me say this often because it’s important.  The quickest way to turn your party into a downer is to see the host or hostess stressed out.  Honestly – who cares if your house isn’t perfect or if your feast flopped.  Paste a smile on that pretty face of yours, grab a glass of cider and enjoy your guests.  The holidays are too special to worry about things you can’t control.


What are your best holiday hosting tips? I’d love to hear from you.



PS: We have lots of helpful holiday content!  Check out these other articles:

5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining in a Small Space

Last Minute Holiday Entertaining (5 Tips)

Ultimate Guide to Stress Free Holiday Entertaining


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