The holidays are a time to embrace the warmth and joy of gathering with friends and family. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of stress, anxiety, and expectations. It seems like no matter how low-key you try to keep your celebrations, there’s always a ton to do and the gatherings still end up being stressful. Well, after years of holiday entertaining, event planning, and observing some pro’s, I’ve discovered a few things that’ll help the host de-stress and enjoy their next gathering a little more. Here are 10 must-haves to make holiday entertaining a little easier.
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- This buffet server holds the #1 spot because of it’s versatility, price, and usefulness. It has 3 separate compartments that each hold 2.5 quarts of food, which is a great size for side dishes. It also has an adjustable heat setting which allows you to prep party food ahead of time and keep it warm for hours! You can find it on Amazon, here.
- You might typically see this next must-have at banquets or restaurants because, when you’re hosting a group, they’re invaluable. This coffee airpot will save you so much time and effort. How many cups of coffee can you realistically get from one regular coffee pot? 4? 5? If you have 6 or more guests craving an after-dinner cup of coffee, you’ll be stuck by the coffee maker brewing multiple pots while your guests wait patiently. Not ideal. An airpot will allow you to make all of the coffee you’ll need ahead of time and keep it warm for hours! This one from Amazon is awesome.
- The next item on this list is something I didn’t know I needed until I attempted to plate, store, transport, and make deviled eggs look nice on a regular platter. Those suckers fall and slide all over the place! Keep your deviled eggs upright and looking nice on this deviled egg platter.
- If your holiday gathering will include adult beverages, I highly recommend getting a beverage cart. Here’s why:
- It can be placed in any room to keep guests out of the kitchen. - They serve as an organized, central hub for all of the accessories, garnishes, ingredients, and glasses necessary for making fun cocktails. - It can be a great statement piece and add a touch of style to the room.
Beverage carts are available in a number of different styles, colors, and prices so there are a bunch to choose from but I’m in love with this one: Gold Bar Cart
- To go along with the beverage cart, beverage buckets are also a great idea to store cold sodas, water, and beer for your holiday party. They can be filled with ice and kept either inside or outside. These clear plastic bins from Amazon are cost-effective, lightweight, and classier than the huge buckets you used back in your college days.
- Saving space is a MUST for holiday parties and one of the things that takes up the most room is the food. We’ve already covered how to conveniently keep food warm in a 3 compartment buffet server, and now it’s time to serve the room temperature or chilled items. This 3-tiered serving bowl set stacks nicely to serve pasta salad, fruit salad, shrimp on ice, chips, dip, and a million other yummy foods.
- The next must-have on this list is…. a set of serving spoons! Trying to find the right size spoon for each dish only to have them all mismatched and in questionable condition can be STRESSFUL. Eliminate all of that with this sweet Serving Utensils Set available in a variety of finishes.
- A small folding table is invaluable when hosting gatherings because it has an unlimited number of uses. It can serve as a table for your hors d’oeuvres, desserts, gifts, favors, games, displays, extra seating etc. This one on Amazon is reasonably priced, has a variety of colors, and boasts some great reviews.
- Ok, hear me out on this one. I’m normally an open book. I don’t have anything to hide and I believe being genuine is one of the most important traits in a person. I also believe that the purpose of this list is to help holiday hosts have an enjoyable gathering. That being said, sometimes the amount of money spent on hosting these gatherings is down-right stressful! So, one way to keep costs down while still being a gracious host is to invest in a wine decanter. Why? Because the label of the wine in the decanter will no longer be privy to your guests. What does this mean? Well, I’m not going to make any bold suggestions here but you get the point. Plus, aerated wine tastes better! It’s a win-win! Here’s a cool one:
- The food has been served, drinks have been flowing, games have been played, and everyone has had a great time! Congrats on hosting a fabulous holiday gathering! Now, it’s time for everyone to go home! How do you communicate this without coming off as rude? The last item on this list of 10 must-haves to make holiday entertaining a little easier is party favors. Everybody loves party favors, especially when they’re awesome. You don’t necessarily need to start handing them out to people when it’s time for them to go home, but casually pulling them out of their hiding spot and arranging them on a table by the exit will give guests a subtle reminder that the evening is coming to an end. These hand-poured, small-batch soy candles are a perfect little gift to thank your guests for coming.
And there you have it! 10 must-haves to make holiday entertaining a little easier. I hope at least one of these items will be useful to you as you plan your holiday gathering. To all the holiday hosts out there, thank you for all you do!
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