It’s that time of year to eat, drink, and be merry! And I love hosting fun holiday gatherings, but playing hostess can come with a ton of stress. Hosting doesn’t have to be a burden, though. With this helpful guide of holiday entertaining ideas, party planning will be a breeze. You’re sure to have a party or get together that goes off without a hitch!
Milo's gallon jug of tea sitting near glasses filled with ice and tea

This post is in partnership with Milo’s Tea Company.

I can still remember the first holiday party that I hosted and, honestly, it was a little overwhelming. To start, was the whole idea of all of the food and drinks I should provide. The house needed to be in tip-top condition. We had to have a fun playlist to get everyone in the party spirit. The party actually ended up being a total success, but I definitely learned a thing or two during my experience.

I hope you find these entertaining ideas super helpful and can use this post as a guide to plan your own successful holiday party!

Ultimate Guide of Entertaining Ideas

The Location

You may be thinking that you don’t have the space or your home isn’t “nice” enough to throw a party in. Some of the greatest holiday parties I’ve attended have been held in small intimate homes and apartments. Believe me, no one is as critical as you are about the space and look of your home.

Let your location be a guide for the kind of party you host. Work the size and features of the space into the theme of the party. If you’ll be hosting in a small area, decorate with candles, cozy floor pillows, and blankets around the coffee table for dessert and drinks. This will give the whole party a warm, intimate feel.

If you’re in a more open space and will have a separate area for eating, try serving food and drinks buffet style. The holidays really come down to being with the people you love, not the design of your home.

holiday table with iced tea and side dishes

The Food

In theory, it always seems like a good idea to make creative recipes from scratch. But, honestly, this is a one-way ticket to a complete meltdown. 🙂 With all of the fun store-bought options these days, there is simply no need for stressing over the menu.

Small Bites & Appetizers

You’ll find a wide variety of really tasty frozen appetizers at your local grocery store. Go for flatbreads and small pastries so people can easily grab snacks while they stand around visiting. This will not only save your sanity, but it is also way more time and cost effective.

little toasts topped with goat cheese, honey and pecans served near a cheese board

Serve Room Temperature Foods

Another pro-hosting tip is to offer dishes that are served at room temperature. This way you won’t have to be concerned about oven space or timing the cooking out perfectly and there’s no worry about having hungry guests waiting to eat.

Cheeseboards are my favorite appetizer to serve when I’m hosting. They are easy to put together and work well to feed a variety of palates. I would recommend spending a small amount on a nice-looking cheese tray and knife set to make the display extra special. You’ll then have these for later use.

Brie Appetizer served on grilled toast


Just like with the appetizers, keep things simple. Now isn’t the time to experiment with recipes. Simply, rely on the recipes you know how to make and that you love. You can make classic chocolate chip cookies even more special by adding crushed candy cane or a drizzle of chocolate over the top. Another simple idea is to set out some holiday candy bowls or have a simple hot chocolate/coffee bar available. I highly recommend my easy pumpkin bars that always get rave reviews.

Pumpkin Bars served on white plates with whipped cream and cinnamon

The Drinks

I know that you probably want to be that host that has every drink imaginable for your guests to enjoy. It’s just not necessary, though. People are typically fine bringing their own alcoholic beverage for themselves to drink.

I always have Milo’s Famous Sweet and Unsweet Tea on hand! Milo’s is an award-winning tea! It’s really the perfect drink to serve at holiday parties and meals. Milo’s is my go-to because it’s fresh brewed from real tea leaves and it’s all natural with clean ingredients. It doesn’t contain any preservatives or added acids. You can feel good about offering this tea to your friends and family. And, you better believe, they’re going to LOVE it!

Milo’s is available sweetened with pure cane sugar, no calorie sweetened with Sucralose, or unsweet. You can find Milo’s in the refrigerated juice section of your local supermarket. Use the store locator to find a retailer near you.

Milo's gallon jug on a table with holiday food

The Decorations

Decorations should be pretty easy this time of year because you’ve most likely decorated your home for the holidays already. Simple greenery and a few candles will make the space so pretty without costing very much or taking time to style. Wreaths, garland and maybe a small tree are all great, inexpensive options. Even some sparkly tinsel would be fun!

iced tea with lemon on a dinner table with dishes

The Entertainment 


In my opinion, the key to a great party is having a wide variety of music. Great music will set a festive tone and break the ice a bit. Having the right music is such an important element that should not be forgotten or left for the last minute. Get the playlist planned out before the party gets too close and you get too overwhelmed.

Games and Activities

A few icebreakers are usually a good idea to help guests relax and start mingling. Depending on the party set-up, crowd-pleaser board games can really get people talking and interacting. Another idea that can be a major hit is having a photo booth. Simply use an instax camera (consider borrowing from a friend if you don’t have one) and some festive props to create a DIY photo booth in a small corner of your home.

Your turn! What holiday entertaining ideas and tips do you recommend? Please share in the comments below!

If you haven’t tried Milo’s Tea, you need to get on that asap! Available sweetened with pure cane sugar, no calorie sweetened with Sucralose, or unsweet, they are conveniently located in the refrigerated juice section of your local grocery store. Use the store locator, to find a retailer near you.