The holiday season is here and that means it’s time to start planning for the perfect festive gathering! Whether you’re hosting a small dinner party or a large family get-together, we’ve got tips to help make your festive entertaining go off without a hitch.

Stylish Festive Entertaining Tips

This holiday season, up your entertaining game with these tips for stylish festive entertaining. From setting a beautiful table to creating the perfect menu, we’ve got everything you need to make your holiday gatherings unforgettable. So get ready to impress your family and friends with your fabulous hosting skills!

This time of year can be very busy, so time saving hacks are important. Here are some festive entertaining ideas that you can easily replicate at home.

Welcome guests at the door
Welcome sign

1. Prepare in Advance

Having people over for the holidays is always a reason to celebrate, but it also means preparing your home to be in its best condition. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to tidy up, vacuum, and dust.

Put some cleaning supplies in an easily accessible place so if someone spills something on your carpets, you can take care of it quickly and effortlessly. Make sure that there are enough plates and glasses for everyone.

Do as much prep work as you can in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that you spend as little time in the kitchen as possible and more time with your guests. For presenting the food, a slate or wood serving tray works really well.

Make a selection of canapes, such as pancetta ham rolls stuffed with dates. Serve with a fresh pesto sauce made from basil, olive oil and pine nuts. A rose spritz is a nice and easy drink that’s light on alcohol.

You can also prepare your musical playlist well in advance. Choose cheerful festive songs that everyone will know and have a few slower paced tunes lined up for the meal itself.

Consider having a seating plan if you have a lot of guests coming. It’s not essential but placing people who have something in common will get conversation flowing. Always welcome guests at the door, however busy you are. It will make them feel at home straight away.

Best festive canapes

2. Decorate for the festive season

Decorating for the holidays is a great way to bring cheer to your home and neighborhood. Apart from adding festive color and joy, hanging decorations can give any space a special touch.

Whether you choose to hang ornaments on the Christmas tree or string lights around your windows, you’re guaranteed to put everyone in the holiday spirit! Even though decorating may take some time and effort, the result is usually worth it – a fun and cozy holiday space for you and your family.

Make your own decorations from fir cones. Just tie them with ribbon, spray them with a festive scent which you can easily find online, and hang on the tree or use to decorate gifts.

You can even decorate dining chairs for a truly festive meal. Add pine cones or Christmas tree decorations to the back with ribbon.

Decorate chairs with Winter foliage and Christmas ornaments

3. Plan Your Festive Meals

When it comes to festive meals, it is important to think about what your guests would enjoy. When there are vegetarians and vegans among the crowd, it’s essential to have some meat-free options available for them.

You can easily make festive dishes with plant-based ingredients like tempeh or tofu that resemble traditional festive dishes but contain no animal products. With just a few simple modifications here and there, you can make sure that everyone at your festive meal has something enjoyable to eat!

It’s easy to overeat during the festive season, so it’s a good idea to control portion sizes. For desserts in particular, bite sized portions are almost guilt free!

There are plenty of options, make chocolate brownies spiced with cinnamon or pipe cream into ready made edible dessert cups and top with sprinkles. Mini mince pies are also popular, served with mulled wine or spiced apple toddy.

Chocolate covered strawberries are hard to resist, and have the advantage of being no-bake.

Festive food entertaining tips

4. Garnish Food With Fresh Edible Flowers

For food with a wow factor, get hold of some fresh edible flowers to decorate your starters. It’s best to grow your own and pick them on the day that you want to use them, although they can be purchased in some farmers’ markets or online.

To prepare, shake the flowers to remove any dirt, wash in cold water, drain and let them air-dry on a paper towel.

Edible flower food

5. Hang a Festive Wreath

To welcome your guests, hang a decorative wreath on your front door or porch. This stunning feather wreath features cock pheasant feathers and is inspired by the British countryside.

Made by bespoke feather accessory company, Plucking Fabulous, this cock pheasant wreath would also make a fantastic table centrepiece. Heart shaped wreaths and peacock, pheasant or grouse feathers are also available.

Cock pheasant wreath
Cock pheasant wreath

If you have time, you could also try making a winter foliage wreath yourself. Buy a wire base and cover with oranges, cinammon sticks and fir cones or collect foliage and spray it silver or gold.

Eucalpytus leaves are particularly attractive. Attach some metallic Christmas baubles in your chosen color scheme using wire for even more impact.

DIY Christmas wreath

6. Accessorize with Metallic Accents

For a suitably festive table, go for silver accents such as crackers, tea light or Christmas baubles or gold charger plates Rose gold is also very on trend right now and looks great for cutlery. 

Christmas entertaining ideas: gold dinner table setting

7. Creative Gift Wrapping

Purchase large round cardboard boxes online and top with a variety of items depending on the recipient. For children, you might add a teddy bear, Christmas lights or even a miniature Christmas tree.

Young children love getting a huge box, and may even prefer the box to what is inside. Alternatively, use recyclable wrapping paper but add a fun gift tag like the one below. 

A fun Christmas gift tag for children or adults

Christmas crackers are a lovely tradition, but did you know that up to 40 million of them end up in landfill each year? Try recyclable crackers for a more sustainable festive season.

Handmade reusable crackers are a great alternative. They will become a treasured part of your festive routine each year. Fill them with handwritten jokes, personalized keyrings, miniature spirit bottles or scratch cards. A reusable advent calendar is another eco-friendly festive option.

Forever Crackers are reusable crackers
Forever Crackers

8. Use Low Lighting 

Candlelight is the most flattering of lighting, whether you opt for long tapered candles or tea lights. These can be a major cause of fires so follow these safety tips.

Purchase an appropriate holder made specifically for small candles. Keep the wick trimmed so that it is never more than half an inch long and do not place on a plastic surface or near any flammable object.

Put out any candles when you leave the room and especially before bed, and keep out of the reach of children and pets. You can also pile up battery operated fairy lights in an empty vase for dramatic effect, or string them along a mantelpiece.

Stylish festive entertaining tips - A festive tealight to lighten up dark Winter days

9. Play Fun Board Games

Have some fun games or activities planned for after dinner – this is a particularly good way to break the ice if you’re entertaining new people. It’ll also help create a relaxed atmosphere where everyone has the chance to smile and laugh together – just be sure to plan something appropriate for all ages!

Have some classic board games such as Trivial Pursuit or Cluedo to entertain guests. If you’re curious about how well your loved ones really know you, Priorities is a hilarious party game. This revealing game for adults and teenagers only takes a few minutes to learn and can be played in 30 minutes.

10. Let Your Guests Help Themselves

Serve cocktails in pitchers so that guests can help themselves. A wine box will also come in very handy.

Easy to serve bag-in-boxes can be stored in the fridge and keep wine fresh for up to a month.

Don’t forget that hosting should be fun too! Relax and enjoy yourself while surrounded by friends, family, good food and great company — the best part of any occasion.

Mirabeau Belle Annee bag in box rose

Final Thoughts on Stylish Festive Entertaining

We hope you’ve found these festive entertaining tips useful. By following these recommendations, you’re sure to throw a great holiday party that everyone will enjoy!

Once all the hard work is done, don’t forget to treat yourself to a glass of something sparkling, you’ve worked for it. Thank your guests for coming and let them know how much you appreciated their company.

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3 thoughts on “10 Top Tips for Stylish Festive Entertaining”

  1. Thanks Lucy, the decorations were stunning and I’ve got a couple of the fir cones on my tree now!
    Have a great Christmas

  2. Thanks Shikha, the parma ham wrapped dates were delicious. Wishing you a lovely Christmas and I hope that we get to meet in 2015

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