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Top Holiday Hosting Tips: Hosting a Christmas Party at Home

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Holiday hosting can be intimidating. So I’m making it easy for you this year! Tuck these top holiday hosting tips away for your next holiday party!

Hosting a Christmas party at home is simple with these quick tips.

Holiday hosting decor and food on a kitchen island.

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Simple HolidaY Hosting: tips for throwing a holiday party

Let’s start with the best tip I can give you for enjoyable holiday hosting: give yourself some grace.

Chances are, everything you think you must do to host a get together, isn’t actually necessary. We are our own worst critics. More often than not, your guests just want to be welcomed into your home to relax and have fun.

If you set the tone of anxiety of overload, your guests won’t feel at ease. Create the atmosphere you want them to enjoy while they are in your home.

Christmas buffet on an island.

Here’s how we can show ourselves grace this holiday season.

  1. Guests appreciate a generally clean house, but no one will be taking a white glove to your windowsills. Tidy up gathering spaces, clean the kitchen and bathroom well, and then focus on the next step.
  2. Take the pressure off a giant meal by planning a grazing meal, or a potluck!
  3. Schedule your get together for later in the evening and just do a relaxed dessert party with fun games.
  4. Spread out the responsibility: Ask your extroverted guest to bring a fun party game to play. Take up grandma on her offer to bring her famous appetizer. Suggest that littles come prepped with cozy PJs and a stuffed animal for a movie night while the adults chat.
  5. Most of all, give yourself grace over mistakes and move on! A burned cake can be swapped out last minute for store bought, after all.

hosting a christmas party at home

Now, let’s get into some specifics. Whether you are hosting Christmas dinner or trying to decide what makes a good party, these tips will set you on your way!

how to host a get together

There are three main elements of holiday hosting, or even casual get togethers.

  1. Setting
  2. Food
  3. Entertainment
Top Holiday Hosting Tips: Hosting a Christmas Party at Home

Holiday Hosting: The Setting

Let’s discuss setting first, since we’ve already touched on it a bit above.

Holiday hosting Table setting.

Your setting involves several things:

  • The atmosphere you create
  • Whether it will be casual, polished or fancy
  • The actual rooms of your home you host in (ex: fancy dinner in a dining room v. casual buffet line that ends on sofas in the living room)

There is no right way to host a party. Casual, black tie, or anywhere in between. They all have merit to be a fabulous party.

Christmas decor in a kitchen.

The key is knowing the setting you’re going for and communicating that to your guests so everyone is on the same page.

Make sure that you’ve cleaned up the rooms you’ll be hosting in so that your guests are comfortable.

Table setting for holiday hosting.

Once you’ve determined your setting, you can move on to plan the food.

What Makes a Good Party: The FOOd

Next, plan your menu. Let’s be honest, what makes a good party?

The food.

Fruit on a buffet line.

It’s all about the food. However, that doesn’t mean the food has to be complicated!

Cake in a buffet line.

As you can see from the images above, my holiday hosting theme is slightly fancy, but with a casual flare.

The Christmas decor, table setting, and island decorations are all on the polished/fancy side. However, the food is quite casual.

This creates a really nice balance. The party will be “dressed up” with a laid back atmosphere. This can easily be done with a variety of food choices.

Christmas buffet with charcuterie.

Here are some casual menu options that allow your holiday party to feel polished and casual at the same time:

  • Charcuterie (See 7 essentials to an amazing charcuterie spread, here.)
  • Potluck (You make the main dish and then assign each guest one item from the varying dinner categories: drink, appetizer, side, bread, salad, dessert.)
  • Dessert Bar (Can one ever go wrong with a large selection of desserts? I think not. Check out my favorite desserts here.)
  • Tapas/Finger Foods/Appetizer Bar (A variety of delicious favorites will be sure to please as everyone gets to sample a touch of everything.)
Holiday hosting meal ideas.

If you’re looking for a very easy mock champagne that is tasty and appropriate for all ages, make sure to check out this party drink recipe.

Drink and foods in a kitchen decorated for Christmas.
Up close of a bundt cake.

Christmas Party Entertainment Ideas

Finally, our third tenant of simple holiday hosting: entertainment.

Depending on the mood you’ve set, your Christmas party entertainment could range from sitting and chatting all night to full-on competitions.

Here are some ideas to get your brainstorming session started.

You could also plan a fun holiday-themed movie night, smores and hot chocolate bar, white elephant gift exchange or progressive dinner!

If you’ve never tried a progressive dinner, they are actually quite fun! Usually it involves four families. Each family hosts a different portion of the meal, moving from one house to the next. Start with appetizers, move on to main course, then dessert, and finally coffee hour at the final home.

More Holiday Hosting Ideas

I hope that you were inspired to plan your next Christmas party at home with these simple ideas!

If you’re looking for more ideas, make sure to check out these articles next.

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!

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Holiday hosting buffet.


  1. Hi Sarah!

    Is there a link for the candle sticks that you used in your beautiful Christmas buffet on your kitchen island? They’re stunning! I’ve scrolled through but I don’t see anything posted about them! They’re perfect! Thank you!

    1. My mom actually made that for me! It’s just a vanilla bundt cake with thin vanilla icing drizzled on top and some mint and cranberries for garnish.

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