1. Greet your guests with a drink as soon as they walk in and take off their coats.
It breaks the ice and gives people something to do with their hands. Something sparkly or a signature cocktail or mocktail is a great idea.
2. Think about the heat.
Lots of people in a confined space makes things super hot super fast. Consider turning off the heat, opening up the windows, or turning on the air conditioning, even if it is chilly outside!
3. Lots of dinner guests? Skip the chairs.
Rent or borrow benches for seating instead - it helps fit more people around the table and creates a communal feeling. Or get a couple low coffee tables and have people sit on the floor.
4. Allow time for a last minute trip to the store on the day of your party.
You'll always forget something no matter how well you prepared.
5. Or better yet, delegate!
Designate a trusted friend or family member to make a pit stop for things like ice, extra napkins, or anything else on the way to your party, and ask them to arrive early.
6. Move all the breakable or irreplaceable things out of the party area.
That way you're not stressed about them. People spill things, trip, and are generally clumsy and you can be a better host if you're not worried about them.
7. Prep the snacks.
A cheese and charcuterie plate (add fruit, bread, and other spreads too) is a great way to welcome your guests, plus it is easy to prep in advance and festive.
8. And the bar.
Cut up lemons, limes, and other fruit for cocktails in advance, and make a garnish tray with olives, cherries, etc. to place by the bar. Open a few bottles of wine and have a corkscrew nearby too. Also have a pot of coffee ready to go.
9. Don't clear the table(s) too early.
The moments when everyone is lingering after the meal or towards the end of the night are some of the very best.
What are your best holiday party hosting tips?