For some people, the idea of hosting holiday parties or a big family dinner sounds exciting and fun. For others, it stirs up all kinds of anxiety, which takes much of the joy out of celebrating.
Here are some tips for simple holiday entertaining. We hope it will help keep the stress level down so you can turn up the joy!
1. The Food
Simplify food prep by making it an appetizer-only menu. It’s low-pressure for everyone–no cooking or serving for you, and your guests have more choices in what to eat.
Be creative and offer a wide variety of food types. Grab prepared foods, dips, veggies, fruits, cheeses and meats from your local market. Throw away all the store packaging, and use your prettiest platters, plates, and bowls for serving.
Colorful foods like cranberries, oranges, pomegranates, and fresh herbs can be included as edible decoration among more neutral-colored foods for a festive touch. You can even add some floral blooms!
In the City Floral Gift Shop, we have some gorgeous marbled resin cutting boards, that would make a perfect backdrop to whatever delicious treats you serve from them.
2. The Mood
Easily create a warm and welcoming ambiance by lighting a few holiday-scented candles throughout the house. It’s more pleasing to the eye than the glare of harsh overhead lights, and a festive fragrance is a powerful way to make your guests feel at home.
Afraid of the fire danger? Use strings of Christmas tree lights and fragrant oil reed diffusers instead. (Have you experienced the scent of Thymes Frasier Fir? It’s divine.)
Don’t forget the music! Make it easy by choosing a genre or theme, and let a streaming music service like Spotify or Pandora pick the tunes for you.
3. The Drinks
Ditch the bartending duties. Pre-make large batches of two or three different holiday cocktails, put them in pretty pitchers or a punch bowl, and let the guests serve themselves.
Besides, the aesthetic of a pitcher filled with deep red winter-fruit sangria is much better than some labelled bottle of booze, don’t you think?
4. The Table
Whether your food station will be set up on your dining table, or you’ve reserved that space for eating, make room down the center to set a festive scene!
Use a seasonal table cloth and/or table runner as a base, then run some holiday greenery down the center. Add pine cones, candles, flowers, or other plants for interest.
Want to make a bigger statement? Grab a ready-made holiday centerpiece from the crew at City Floral.
Or, if you’re the crafting type, you can follow the steps in our Holiday Centerpiece Tutorial. We have everything you need in the Garden Center.
One of the most helpful tips we can share is to prepare as much as possible in the days leading up to the gathering. Set up everything you can the day before, so when your guests begin showing up, you are fully present to welcome them in.
However you go about it, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and the point is to celebrate and be merry with your friends and family. Happy Holidays!