Tips for hosting a fun and relaxing holiday get-together
When it comes to holiday events, we follow a pretty simple mantra: bringing people together should be fun. We’re supposed to be celebrating the times we have shared over the last year, not agonizing over the right Instagram filter for table settings. (Also, it’s Skyline—just trust us.) With that in mind, we put together a few quick entertaining tips that will help get everyone in the holiday spirit from the moment they walk in the door.
SET THE MOOD WITH THE RIGHT LIGHTING
Use this holiday hosting season to upgrade your lighting; a showpiece fixture gives you both a brighter space and a conversation starter. Plus, new LED lighting saves you money by eliminating replacement bulbs, so you don’t have to worry about creating a Clark Griswold scenario in your dining room.
SERVE BEVERAGES THAT GET PEOPLE TALKING
Holidays present the perfect excuse for a mug (or three) of your favorite hot drink. A hot beverage bar complete with cocoa, cider, coffee, and tea will immediately get guests in a festive mood. For those who prefer the more traditional cocktail route, stemless glassware eliminates the ever-present threat of party fouls. Either way, a drink with a holiday spice like cinnamon or cloves will make the season bright. In both cases, stylish serving trays do the work of defining drink zones without you having to lift a finger (except the little one you hold out while taking a sip, for fanciness).
MAKE GUESTS SAY, “AH, NUTS!” (IN A GOOD WAY)
Olives, nuts, and other snacks, distributed in small compartment bowls, give guests a great way to satisfy their appetite as larger plates get their final minutes in the oven. Pro tip: microwave mixed nuts for about 30 seconds in a microwave-safe bowl before serving. Warm mixed nuts = instantly classy. Don’t forget to label dishes for potential food allergies—nice gift tags can do double-duty here—and indicate if an item is gluten-free, vegetarian and/or vegan.
FOCUS ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY OVER FORMALITY
Keep that dining table spacious if you’re having a sit-down dinner. There should be plenty of room to pass plates if it’s family-style, or to navigate around each other if you’re self-serving. The fewer items to dodge, the more opportunity you’ll have for sharing time face-to-face with guests. Don’t worry too much about a fork for every dish or occasion; we recommend sticking to the basics. Most guests won’t use those oyster forks (is that what they are?) anyway, and it will mean less cleanup for you. Same goes for that fine china: keep it in the cabinet! Instead, for easy cleanup use plates and bowls made from durable materials, like stoneware, to keep the focus on good food and conversation, right where it should be.
MAKE YOUR DECOR ABOUT YOU
Most of all, your guests are coming because they enjoy spending time with you — so show off a little! Place mementos like photos from the past year’s vacations and gatherings next to eye-catching signature decor items that will draw people in. They’ll tell your personal story, and you can reveal a few quirks without saying a word. Who knows: maybe that dapper raccoon ornament will be the perfect conversation starter. (It definitely will be.)