The Guys’ Guide to Holiday Hosting: 7 Tips to Make Your Holiday Party a Success
By Lynn Byrne. Entertaining dilemmas are common during “the most wonderful time of the year,” especially for guys!
Maybe you’ve decided to throw your first holiday party or your girlfriend’s parents are showing up unexpectedly this holiday season. Whatever hosting situation you choose (or is chosen FOR you) there are ways to make your place presentable and festive quickly and inexpensively – without too much effort!
While the patched up couch cushions and posters on the wall made the perfect setting for last Sunday’s afternoon football gathering, you really can’t have your place looking like this. No (sorry) the lights aren’t enough.
What do you need to do? The key to success is to keep it simple. Read on. Here are my 7 tips to ensure holiday hosting success!
1. Hire a cleaner
Even though you think cleaning on your own will do the trick, a professional will be able take care of the dust over the book shelves and the dirt in the corners that you might easily overlook. Tell your cleaner to pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom since these are high-traffic areas for parties and company. Also, make sure you stow away your most personal grooming items and instead leave out guest-ready toiletries and care items, like festive scented soaps and seasonal paper fingertip towels, so your guests can dry their hands on something fresh and clean.
2. Deck the walls
If you are boy big enough to host a holiday fete, anything attached to the wall with tape or thumb tacks has reached its expiration date. Art puts the finishing touch in a space and dramatically improves the overall feel of the home. And you don’t even need to leave your pad, like this fellow did, to get some.
Companies such as Americanflat (I posted all about them yesterday, offer the art shown above) tailor its selection to the modern guy by offering a wide range of large artwork at affordable prices. Get it delivered ready to hang (with a nail and picture hook this time) in 5 business days.
3. Get in the spirit
While a fully decorated Christmas tree is not necessar, some decorations to set the mood are a must. A wreath on the door is simple and puts guests in that holiday mood even before they enter your space. This pinecone wreath looks great and you can save it for next year. Order it on Amazon for $29.99.
For the inside, head out to your local nursery, supermarket or even your corner deli this time of year and grab something with red, and an evergreen with a nice smell. Nature works in any type of a container. You could use a wine glass (or several) like the one shown below for a charming centerpiece.
Finally, pick up some inexpensive votive candles for sparkle (just be sure not to leave the candles unattended). You could buy the small glass candle holders too, but if you’ve got some empty jars lying around, why not pull them into service.
There you go, your pad is set.
4. Put on the charm
When guests arrive, welcome them with something to drink just as soon as they walk in. You don’t need a full bar—this isn’t fraternity rush.
A signature cocktail this time of year is not only festive and clever, but so much easier and cheaper than a fully stocked bar. It is also fine to stick to wine, beer and something bubbly. Here’s a friendly tip: Italian Prosecco tastes just as good as champagne and costs less. Drop a raspberry in there and they will be blown away.
5. Stick to cocktails and snacks
If you are truly an entertaining newbie, don’t try dinner. It is too big of an undertaking. Instead consider setting out a spread of Italian antipasti for food. You can buy it, there is a wide variety of nibbles and it doesn’t need re-heated. Win, win, win.
6. Set the music just right
There are many options for your holiday music mix. Just decide on your ambiance before so you know whether to seek out tunes that are classic and soothing or hopping and bopping. You can find holiday CDs that offer a variety of tunes by different artists even at your local coffee shop. Yes, Starbucks offers some.
Or tailor-make a playlist on your computer or mp3 player to get your guests in the spirit!
7. Most important — smile and have fun!
The holidays are already stressful enough, so instead make them your time to shine. Don’t get caught over-thinking. The easier you make it on yourself, the more fun YOU will have, which will be contagious for your guests. And after all, there is no better way to tell how successful your get-together was than to have been a GUEST at your OWN party!