What everyone needs to know about holiday entertaining

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to get planning. Proper planning will ensure that you too will be able to enjoy your festive parties rather than running around like many hosts do. Here are some of the basics to keep in mind.

Guest list

The key to planning is making sure that you cater to the right number of guests. Initially, you will make a guest list with everyone you would like to attend. After sending out your invitations, you will need to confirm who will be attending so that you know how much food to prepare and how many places to set. You should also make sure that you are a bit flexible in your arrangements. Make extra food and make sure that you can set an extra place or two just in case unexpected guests arrive.


Plan your menu in advance. This does not mean that you will need to plan the quantity but rather the foods and ingredients you will need. Once you have a complete guest list, you will know how much you will need. Food will need to be prepared that morning or late the day before – depending on what time your guests are to arrive. Roasting meats and vegetables will take several hours but, while your main course is roasting, you can prepare your starter and desserts.

The day before

The day before your party is when you will get most of your work done. While you will not set your tables, you will make sure that all of your linens are ready as well as everything you need for each place setting. Make sure that your Christmas flower delivery arrives the day before your party so that it is still perfectly fresh on the day. You will need to ensure that it as enough water and you will need to trim the stems of flowers that are displayed in vases. You don’t need to stick to flowers for your table alone. You can order additional flowers for other parts of your home too. Think about areas that could use some extra holiday cheer.

A space for everything

When your guests arrive, they will take off their coats and you might like them to take off their shoes too. In this case, you need to make sure that there is enough space for everyone’s jackets and shoes. You should also make sure that you have enough slippers for everyone – in various sizes. If your guests are planning on exchanging gifts, you should designate a specific area where these gifts can be placed. If you are planning a fun Secret Santa party, then you can place each gift on the appropriate place setting at the table, for example. Otherwise, you can set aside some space in a room like your living room.