DIY

Reclaim Your Hostess Status This Christmas

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Tackling a holiday feast is no easy task. From planning, headcounts, to cooking start times and more, there is a fine art to preparing this traditional and highly anticipated dinner. If your festivities fell short this year, come back in full force with a holiday celebration that will knock the socks off your family and friends. Here are a few tricks to make it all just a little bit easier:

Reclaim Your Hostess Status This Christmas

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

First off, yes, the pun was intended! Second, just because you will be the host with the most, don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends to make contributions, large and small. Long gone are the days of spending two days in the kitchen preparing for 15 people to devour their food in less than 30 minutes. Delegate appetizers, sides and desserts to those in attendance.

For years, I was assigned to bring an appetizer to any family gathering. I quickly realized that my cooking skills were less than trustworthy, therefore, I usually opted for a store-bought option as my contribution. However, my dad makes a to-die-for vegan butternut squash soup which was highly requested for each celebration, so it’s usually what gets consumed first anyway!

Raise the Bar from Drab to FabReclaim Your Hostess Status This Christmas

The food isn’t the only thing people will notice at your holiday dinner. Décor can play an equal role of importance when hosting an impressive holiday event. If you wow your guests from start (with a gorgeous wreath) through dinner (with a stunning centerpiece) and to the finish (with a delectable dessert display) your guests will have a lasting impression of the entire event.

Keep the Drinks Flowing

Whether hosting an impressive selection of wines, or an array of family-friendly mocktails, create a signature drink for your affair to accompany your standard selection. Here are 12 seasonal adult concoctions to get your creative juices flowing.

Highlight your drink of choice by setting it front and center at your beverage station as well as having several glasses prepared in advance to hand to guests as they enter the room. If there will be a mix of drinkers and non-drinkers in attendance, consider featuring similar (but easily identifiable) alcoholic and non-alcoholic signature drinks. But don’t forget to have the standard beverage selections on hand too, just in case!

Go Out on a High Note

With the dinner responsibilities delegated and every detail beautifully decorated you can focus your attention on the final event: dessert. Now, if Great Aunt Susie has a family favorite dessert, don’t be the Grinch who denies the family their familiar family sweet. Simply incorporate your own flair to the mix. Who knows, it may become a new family favorite. If your recipe catalog is lacking in the dessert department, take a gander at these top holiday treats. Or, if you aren’t a baker, order up a dozen vegan cupcakes from your favorite local bakery.

Read more: Blogger-Approved Holiday Dinner Ideas

What’s your favorite holiday party or dinner tip?

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

15 Comments

  1. Cassi Braun

    Very helpful, thanks, Hilary! I find hosting a holiday dinner or party a huge undertaking — from menu planning to figuring out the guest list up to actual preparation…

  2. Grażyna Sawicka

    Awesome tips!

  3. Michelle Hewitt

    Yeah, I raise the bar from drab to fab! I usually re-arrange my space whenever I host a holiday party. And this is the reason why I host once in three years 😉

  4. Lucretia Asher

    I agree with your first tip. But I’d like to add: be specific with your requests. Delegating food contributions will give you the ability to strategize around plates.

  5. Kim Hartford

    I love hosting holiday dinner because of childhood fondest memories of the season 🙂

  6. Kimberley Foulkes

    Agree with tip #1. Share the responsibility 🙂 This also means you’ll be sharing the fun and excitement of holiday dinner preparation!

  7. Shelley Donalds

    Fantastic post! Vegan dishes are part of our holiday dinner this year, and I’m so excited!

  8. Ayla Pennington

    Every time I host a dinner or a party, I make sure to set the ambiance. And I agree that “decor” plays a critical role!

    • Emily Morrison

      True! On my part, I set the ambiance by having a playlist and setting background music! It makes things all the more festive!

  9. Frances Seifert

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to have fabulous holiday dinner this year 🙂 Thanks for the helpful tips!

  10. Felicia Stewart

    The best advice I’ve been getting from friends is: Keep it simple. They always tell me that don’t be overwhelmed and too excited to try new recipes yearly. Feel free to try one thing at a time…

  11. Christina Perez

    I’ve never hosted a dinner party before and this information has been very helpful! Now I feel like I know what to do so I can host one soon

  12. Callie Wright

    Bookmarked! Perfect tips and I’ll refer to this once I start to prepare.

  13. Claudia Nainggolan

    Fabulous tips! Great post, Hilary!

  14. Monica Conover

    I’d like to add a tip (and I have learned this through experience), ask your guests about food allergies and/or restrictions

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