10 Tips for Holiday Entertaining Like a Pro in 2020

Whether you’re hosting a holiday dinner party or inviting a few people over to help you trim your tree, holiday entertaining can be both fun and challenging.

At Addition Financial, we recognize that holiday entertaining can be expensive – especially if you want to impress your guests. We’ve gathered this list of ten tips for holiday entertaining like a pro this year.

#1: Mix and Match

Our first tip is to let go of the idea that your table settings all need to match. If you’re hosting a large dinner party, try mixing plain white plates with colored plates for a festive look.

You can also mix up your holiday napkins, napkin rings and centerpieces to create a table setting that’s unique and fun.

#2: Make a Party Playlist

During the holidays, we all love to listen to holiday music. To save yourself the worry of thinking about music during your party, take some time now to make a long holiday playlist.

Remember to include a mix of holiday classics, music from holiday movies and modern holiday songs for your guests to enjoy. You can even ask your guests to get in on the fun by sending song suggestions!

#3: Serve a Signature Holiday Cocktail

Making individual drinks for your guests is time-consuming and may mean that you spend the entire party behind the bar. Instead, choose a signature cocktail and make pitchers of it before the party starts.

You can do the same thing for kids and non-drinkers by making a big bowl of holiday punch. Simply set out a selection of glasses, ice and a few other options (like soda and juice) and let your guests serve themselves.

#4: Serve No-Cook Appetizers

If you’re the one doing the cooking, prepping for a holiday party can be a ton of work. Instead, why not opt for some no-cook appetizers, such as:

  • A selection of cheese and charcuterie with bread, crackers and fruit
  • Vegetable crudite and dip
  • Spiced nuts

You’ll be able to get these appetizers ready to serve in just minutes, leaving you free to focus on other things.

#5: Avoid Traffic Jams

If you plan to serve your food and drinks buffet style, it’s important to create a layout that won’t result in a huge traffic jam around the refreshments.

One of the best ways to do it is to split up the food and drinks by putting them at opposite ends of the room (or even in different rooms). That way, everyone will have plenty of room to serve themselves.

The Holiday Hosting Handbook for a Festive (and Furnished) Home

#6: Designate a Group of Helpers

One of the most difficult things about holiday entertaining is feeling like you need to be everywhere at once. If you have friends or family members who offer to help, take them up on it!

An easy way to delegate is to put each person in charge of something small. For example, you might have a friend bring ice to the party and put another one in charge of refilling appetizer trays.

#7: Buy Battery-Powered Candles

We all love the warm glow of candles at the holidays but no host wants to worry about things catching on fire in the middle of a party.

Instead of an open flame, try buying small, battery-powered tea lights or candles to add some light to your decorations. You can easily nestle the lights in and around greenery. Another option is to use twinkle lights, instead!

#8: Set Up Early

You don’t want to spend the hours before you guests arrive running around getting things ready. An alternative is to set up for your party the night before the event.

It’s easy to put the finishing touches on decorations and table settings ahead of time. Then, on the day of the party, you’ll be able to focus on finishing up the food, mixing cocktails and getting yourself dressed and ready to celebrate.

#9: Set Out Some Games

Whether your holiday party is for kids, adults or both, it’s a good idea to plan some activities. One quick way to supply your guests with entertainment is to set out some classic games for them to play. Examples include:

  • Scrabble
  • Monopoly
  • Cribbage
  • Yahtzee

You can also set out a few decks of cards for guests who want them.

#10: Stock Up on To-Go Containers

What will you do with the food that’s left over at the end of your party? One of the best ways to handle it is to stock up on to-go containers (think Gladware or foldable takeout boxes) and send your guests home with something to snack on.

Let your guests know that they’re free to take your leftovers. Your guests will leave happy – and you’ll have less clean-up to do when they go home!

Holiday entertaining like a pro is easy with these ten tips. We hope you’ll use them to have your best holiday party ever!

Need help saving for your holiday entertaining? Click here to learn about Addition Financial’s holiday savings accounts.

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