Home Ownership

7 Tips for Hosting the Holidays in Your New Home

Oh, it’s a wonderful time of the year — and doubly so when you get to host your friends or relatives for the holidays in your new home. Whether you’re planning something truly grand over a weekend or just an intimate dinner party among close friends, you can create a memorable experience that won’t put a strain on your Christmas cheer with these “holiday hacks.”

Make Your To-Do List Early

Santa Claus isn’t the only fellow who needs to make lists to keep everything straight during the holidays. Good organization can help you stay ahead of the rush when you’re planning a get-together or playing host at Christmas. 

You can make use of lists to keep your grocery shopping, cleaning and related tasks on track so that nothing escapes your memory. Having a list on hand also helps when your guests ask what they can bring. (Don’t be afraid to let your guests help by bringing something or cooking. They’ll feel more involved, and you’ll have less to manage.)



Tidy up Just the Essential Areas

There’s an old saying that “perfect is the enemy of good,” so don’t let yourself obsess over the details trying to get your home in pristine shape for the holidays. Your entire house doesn’t have to be spotless before your guests arrive. Focus on the key areas of your home in which you anticipate guests to be and concentrate your efforts there. 

We recommend giving your kitchen, dining room, living room and bathrooms the most attention since that’s where your guests will probably be. Just shut the doors to the bedrooms and other private spaces and be content that your home is “good enough” for those you invite. If there’s a little extra clutter about that you don’t have time to sort, sweep everything into a laundry basket and tuck it in the closet until your guests leave.


Have Extra Gifts Ready and Wrapped

There’s something incredibly embarrassing about someone giving you a gift when you don’t have anything in return. You can bet that at least one or two of your guests will appear with a gift-wrapped goodie of some sort that is meant to be a token of their love or friendship. 

Buy a few bottles of wine, some seasonal coffees or teas, and a few boxes of chocolate. Wrap them in some colorful tissue paper and ribbons, and put them under your tree or somewhere handy. That way, you’re never caught off guard and stressed by an unexpected bit of generosity.


Prep Your Kitchen and Put out the Snacks

Your kitchen is the heart and soul of every gathering, so focus a lot of your attention there. Set out a mixture of salty, sweet and savory snacks where your guests can find them without searching. You can add a little holiday flair by putting Christmas ornaments in a bowl and some fancy satin or velvet ribbons around your dessert trays.

If you’re expecting some kids to be in attendance (or you just have whimsical friends), consider putting out some gingerbread cookies, a few tubes of icing and some sprinkles to use for decorations. Guests of all ages can have fun creating gingerbread men to eat later.


Have a Beverage Station Ready

Help your guests help themselves by putting a “beverage station” in your kitchen. Set extra coffee pods, sugar, creamer and a stack of cups by your brewer and put the mulled cider in a crockpot where it’s easily accessible. Cola, iced tea and water can be located nearby.

If you’re serving alcohol, sit the soda and other mixers out next to a bucket of ice and make sure that you’re stocked with vodka, whiskey, rum and wine. That way, when you’re guests arrive you can let them mix their preferred drinks without playing bartender all night.

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On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a Fully Stocked Festive Bar Cart!🎄🍸🍾⁣ ⁣ Since entertaining for the Holidays often involves a beverage or two, you want to make sure that you have a well stocked (and stylish) bar cart. ⁣ ⁣ If you don’t have the luxury of an actual bar or even wine cellar, bar carts are a great option. ⁣ ⁣ They are often a place of gathering and a great conversation point when your guests first arrive.⁣ ⁣ 👉🏼Check out our new Blog Post on to learn how to create your own Holiday Bar Cart at home and our top BC accessories from @anthropologie. ⁣ ⁣ À votre Santé!🥂💋⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ 📸Since I am in limbo here in our house before the move, I have given you my favourite Bar Cart inspiration from @avintagesplendor.💕⁣ ⁣ 👉🏼Head over to @clubperlage to check out more #barcartinspiration on post and stories!😍⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⬇️Do you have a Bar Cart at home?⁣ ⁣ #12daysofchampagnechristmas⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #barcart #barcartstyling #barcartlove #barcartdecor #holidaybarcart #barcartinspo #barcartsofinstagram #holidayhosting #holidayentertaining #christmastime #tistheseason #christmasbar #barlife #newblogpost #wineblog #champagneblog #wineblogger #champagnelover #clubperlage #champagnesquad #youcansipwithus #christmasdecor #christmasparty #christmas2019 #christmascheer #christmasfeeling

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Add Some Holiday Ambiance

You naturally want to create a festive mood for your party, so don’t be afraid to go a little “extra” on the holiday decor. One of the quickest ways to add Christmas charm to a room is to string twinkle lights around the windows or walls. Low lights, candles or a lit fireplace can also create a feeling of intimacy and warmth. 

When you’re planning your party, take the time to put together a playlist of holiday music and other favorites to play during the party. Make sure that you have at least two hours’ worth of music so that you don’t have to restart the playlist very often.

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Welcome to the Manno household! When you walk through the door you’ll be greeted by a cute, chubby, jolly baby-man (that’s what we call him) in our newly decorated mudroom nook! Ha! I mean…who wouldn’t want a greeting like that! 😉 It’s been so nice having friends and family visit for the holidays this month which is why I decided to decorate the mudroom nook that’s in the entrance of our house. I just want our guests to feel cozy and welcome right when they walk through the front door. Sharing details on everything I got from The @HomeDepot on today! ❤️ AND I finally decided on a sign to put in our living room! Remember a while back I asked you guys to help me pick one?! Head to my blog to see the super cute and affordable one that I bought, that I think is one of the most beautiful signs ever! Not just because of how it looks but mostly because of what it says! Linked everything via the app too! #liketkit #HolidayDecorating #TheHomeDepot #Mudroom #mudroommakeover #mudroomdesign #holidaydecor #holidays #christmasdecor #christmasdecorating #HolidayRefresh #partner

A post shared by Ali Manno (Fedotowsky) (@alifedotowsky) on


Put Together an Overnighter’s Basket

Guests may end up staying at your home overnight during the holidays by accident or design — and you want to be ready. We suggest that you put together a basket or two that holds all of the essentials someone might need overnight, including washcloths, towels and the password to your WiFi.

Another smart thing to do is stock up on sample-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and other toiletries your guests may need. That way, your guests can locate what they need and you won’t be worried about their comfort.

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One of our non-negotiables when building was a guest room. My mom visits often and the sweet woman never once complained about sleeping on the couch bed in the middle of our living room for the last 11 years.#saint . Thankfully, we were able to turn the formal dining room from our floor plan into a bedroom, complete with a closet and full bathroom! Helllooo privacy!🙌😂 . We want our home to be able to welcome guests at any time and give them a comfortable place to stay. I wanted to add a few simple touches of Christmas to make this space a tad bit cozier, but without spending a ton of money. Ya feel me?! . When I saw this Nativity sign @walmart, I had to grab it and knew I would find the perfect spot for it. . I used a simple, unlit garland also from Walmart and wrapped battery powered lights around it. . I loooove the “be our guest” pillow I found at a local home decor shop {the backside is black and white buffalo plaid😍}, I think it adds the perfect touch to the bed. . 🌟Will you welcome guests for Christmas, or will you BE a guest somewhere??

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The key thing to remember is that advance planning is your friend. The more you have organized and ready, the less stress you’ll be under once your guests arrive. Ultimately, you want your guests to feel welcome and comfortable in your new home — and you want to be relaxed enough to enjoy the holiday spirit as your friends and family gather to celebrate the season.