Essential Tips for Holiday Entertaining

As we move toward the holiday season, it seems like there’s a social event every weekend. Here are a few do’s and don’ts if you’re attending or throwing a party of your own this fall.

DO splurge on décor pieces that will last beyond the holidays

It can be really tempting to drop a ton of money on all that adorable seasonal décor, but keep in mind that you’ll only use it once a year. Decorating with EDELWHITE adds the the perfect touch of modern design and greenery to your holiday festivities and beyond. You can also stretch your dollar by choosing neutral pieces that can be used for many occasions. Silver and gold are festive holiday colors that work for so many different types of parties.

DO keep it simple

After reading seemingly every food and entertaining blog, it can feel like the only way to throw a good party is to make a 17-course plated dinner. For both hosts and guests alike, a simpler, more pared-down party is best. As a host, you can actually enjoy your party and your guests will feel more comfortable. Taking help from the store is a great time saver; stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have amazing pre-made appetizers and desserts. Another easy way to keep it simple is by making pitcher cocktails. Instead of slaving over labor-intensive individual drinks, make a drink that guests can pour themselves. Sangrias and mulled ciders or wines are wonderful seasonal options.

DON'T try to please everyone

Making food for a big crowd can be a tricky endeavor. Someone is bound to be vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, or just plain picky. Of course you should try to plan for as many situations as you can, especially when they involve potentially dangerous allergies, but there are only so many plates that fit on a table. The easiest way to sidestep most food allergies and choices? A few great vegetable sides. Glazed carrots are a holiday classic, and a medley of roasted veggies is always a welcomed dish. Alternatively, hosting a pot-luck style party will ensure that each guest brings something they can eat, that way you’ll know nobody will go hungry.

DO bring something

If you’re attending a party, don’t show up empty handed. A bottle of wine, or a local specialty if you’re going out of town are simple but thoughtful options. However, unless your host specifically asks, don’t bring anything you expect to be served that night. Your host might have gone to a lot of trouble to plan the menu and your homemade tiramisu, while delicious, might not fit into that plan.

DON'T stress out

Stuff happens. Rolls get burnt (every year at Thanksgiving at my house), someone shows up unexpectedly, and sometimes the dog gets a hold of the turkey (it was a chicken but this also happened at my house). Personally, planning things out in advance takes the stress out of entertaining. A few things to think about ahead of time are oven space, fridge and freezer space, and serving dishes. I like to pull out all the serving dishes I plan to use and label them with the food that will be served in it. This way you know you when you finish making that amazing spinach dip you’ll have somewhere to put it.

DO have fun!

Plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to get dressed, relax, and pour yourself a cocktail before your guests arrive. It might seem silly but having a few moments to yourself before chaos ensues makes all the difference. Have

at your own party and it will set the tone for your guests.

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