5 Things Every Hostess Should Have on Hand for the Holidays
This post is in partnership with Pier 1, however all opinions (and puppies) are my own. Thank you for the support!
Tis the season for gatherings big and small. From 100+ person Christmas soirees to little girls' night by the fire (my favorite), the holidays just call for bringing folks together. Whatever the size of your party, there are a few guidelines I always follow and things I make sure I have on hand. Lets get into it, shall we?
A Festive Holiday Beverage
Yes, I've mentioned this before, but during the holidays, it's basically mandatory. Greeting your guest with a little champagne tray by the front door is always a fun way to make your guest feel taken care of from the moment they enter your home. A little hot chocolate station by the fire is a sweet touch for the designated drivers of the bunch (bonus points for serving it in festive mugs and decking the space with sweet pillows).
Easy (and Accessible) Nibbles
My dear husband, Andrew, has this amazing ability to find the food at any party immediately upon arrival. It's definitely his party trick - hoarding all the appetizers. But you should't make it hard for your guests to find the nibbles. Place serving trays (this one is too cute) in easy to see places throughout your home so people aren't crowded around one little table or battling for the prime location.
A Cozy Atmosphere (and good lighting!)
These two little tips might be the most important in my humble opinion. In order for your guests to be comfortable throughout the evening, make sure there are cozy little nooks and crannies for people to sit and get comfy (pillows and throws always help). Sit in them prior to the party to make sure there is an easy place to put drinks and apps while they are enjoying your home.
Secondly, make sure there is good lighting! And by good lighting, I mean soft enough where everyone looks good (no need to turn on those bright lights - trust me, everyone will thank you after they check out their selfies. Bright lights never did anyone any favors), but warm enough where people can see where they are going. You want home to feel cozy enough people want to linger. To do this, I use recess lighting sparingly and on dimmers (usually over the food), and then add warmer lighting via candles (these faux ones are great), lanterns and lamps, and of course, the Christmas tree.
A gift for your guests
During the holiday season, I always love to give a little something to guests to before they leave. A sweet little ornament (love this one, this one and this one!), a bag of Christmas cookies tied up in a bow or a festive candle (like this one) is always a sweet little gesture.
A great playlist
Finally, no party or gathering is complete without a great playlist. Music sets the tone of any soiree, particularly during the holidays. Spotify is amazing for this. If you don't have time to create your own playlist, they have a million great holiday ones at your dispoal (I'm currenly listening to Classic Christmas and it's great!).
Above all, you want to create an evening that doesn't feel like an obligation. One that is comfy yet elegant. Guests always play off any vibes the hostess sends off, so make sure you are having a good time too!
HOW TO: Candy Cane Rim
When it comes to hosting get-to-gethers, I try to keep everything simple, yet statement worthy. While a signature cocktail is fabulous, it's often not realistic during a party you are hosting (unless you want to play bar tender all night). Instead, shoot for something on the simpler side, like a candy cane rim. Super easy, yet festive - and your guests can do it themselves!
Simply swirl the rim of the flute in simple syrup and then again in a plate of crushed up candy canes - then volia! You are the hostess with the mostess.