Don't know the first thing about hosting? Homepolish creative director Orlando Soria is all about the togethertimez of the holidays, and he lists the essentials of party-throwing in this article.
Photos by Tessa Neustadt.
The most important part of the holidays is the togethertimez that bring you closer to your friends and family. I’m obsessed with hosting, so this time of year is the perfect excuse to have that extra dinner party, to drink that extra cocktail, and LOL as hard as you can to stave off the darkness of winter. Plus, it’s the one time of year when I’m not sitting alone at home talking to my furniture.
Aside from shielding you from Seasonal Affective Disorder, hosting has another fun benefit: you get to buy all sorts of fun hosting accessories! While you can get away with serving chips out of the bag and drinks from red Solo cups, a heightened party calls for serving trays, glassware, and a bevy of accoutrements that tell your guests “I’m better than you! Merry Christmas!” Because nothing says Christmas like establishing your superiority. Below, you can see my essentials of throwing the best of holiday parties.
1. Servingware for Drinks
First things first, drink servers and carafes. You don’t want to spend the whole party mixing drinks for your guests, so make sure you have enough containers to pre-mix the majority of your holiday cocktails. Fill them to the brim, because everyone knows that there is nothing worse than a holiday party where you run out of
spirits, I mean cheer.
2. Trays and Glassware
Trays help maximize your hosting efficiency by allowing you to serve drinks to a large number of people at once. This will help you achieve your ultimate goal of laughing/hugging/dancing as much as possible (slash getting people just the right amount of tipsy) while working as little as possible.
And remember, glassware doesn’t have to match! It’s actually a lot more fun to have a collection of different styles of glasses. Not only does this ensure everyone has the glass that corresponds with what they’re drinking, it also ensures that they’ll be able to keep track of which glass is theirs (instead of using those weird glass tags that I associate with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills).
3. Decanters and Serving Plates
In addition to the punch bowls and carafes above, always have decanters on display. It’ll make people feel like they have somewhere to turn if the party goes south. They can sneak away with a glittery crystal vase of booze and hide from the awkward vibes. (But that won’t be the case at YOUR party!)
And don’t forget that small serving plates are great! They are perfect for people who have portion control issues (me) as well as people too fancy to eat appetizers directly off serving trays (not me).
But where are you guests going to rest all those drinks??? Make sure to have coasters lying around to protect your furniture from sticky cocktail residue left behind by your garbage friends. It might shock you to know that I’m actually not a monster about coaster usage in my home, but sometimes it makes people feel more comfortable to have one available. And I’m all about making my guests feel comfortable.
Someday, I’ll die of suffocation in an avalanche of the linens I’ve hoarded over the years. Until then, I’ll enjoy using cloth napkins, runners, and cocktail napkins. It really makes your guests feel special… like you trust them with your pretty things. (Even though you secretly don’t.) Pro tip: Don’t worry about stains: almost anything will come out if you treat linens with stain remover before washing them.
If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner, check out my styling guide for holiday tables!