Ultimate Guide of Entertaining Ideas
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Love these tips! My favorite part about entertaining is making pretty appetizers and drinks!
I love these ideas and Milos is a delicious addition to any party!
I LOVE Milos!!! I am already a huge fan! Such great entertaining tips!
Love all your great tips for entertaining. It’s true that it’s very safe to skip drinks since most guests bring a bottle of wine with them, and we always end up having too many bottles anyway. The other tips are also super on point. 🙂
This is such a fantastic guide! I have never tried Milo’s Sweet Tea but it sounds absolutely delicious.
What wonderful tips for entertaining during the holidays! I too have attended parties with a lot of people in small spaces. Somehow it always seems to work. Most have removed bulkier furniture items to open up the area. Looking at that delicious Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea, I think this is the ideal non-alcoholic drink for parties!
These are great tips for hosting and entertaining! One thing that I find helpful is to have some good music playing!
Thank you for the tips! There’s an art to effortless entertaining, and with your suggestions, I bet my holiday parties will be fabulous!
What a great bunch of ideas for the holiday season Kim! Love them! And I’d so love to come along to your parties – your food looks to die for! My kind of friend indeed:) Enjoy the holiday season Kim xx
I haven’t heard of this sweet tea before but I think I’d really enjoy it. I bet I won’t be able to get hold of it in the UK – such a shame!