How to Host the Perfect Holiday Dinner Party

Hosting a dinner party is a wonderful way to show some of your closest friends and family members how much they mean to you. And when better to do this than the Christmas season? (It’s also a great excuse to show off all that decorating you’ve been doing!) Luckily, we have all the tips and tricks you’ll need to be the holiday hostess with the most-est, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come.

GET AHEAD OF THE GAME

Do all of your food prep in the days leading up to your party. This way you can focus on spending quality time with your guests instead of dashing back and forth to the kitchen all night. Do as much pre-cooking as possible, so all you have to do day of is heat and serve. Chilled vegetables are great for appetizers – quick, delicious, easy to execute.

A GRAND ENTRANCE

It’s never too early to make a lasting impression. Set the tone for the evening to come by welcoming your guests with a bar cart or buffet table laden with glasses of champagne or pre-mixed signature cocktails. Getting the fun started from the get-go will help establish a party atmosphere.

We love the idea of having wine or spirits decanting and ready to pour right when guests walk in. You can even go for a cheese board, complete with fine crackers and fresh grapes. It’s a great way to fill your guests with instant cheer.

TIME TO MAKE A MOOD

If you’ve ever dreamed of going all-out when it comes to a party, Christmastime is the best opportunity. Whether you settle on classic red and green throughout the house or go for something a bit more unexpected (hello, boxwood and forest creatures) don’t be afraid to have fun. Decorate every room from the entryway to the kitchen with garlands, twinkle lights, baubles and more. Place flameless candles anywhere and everywhere (we mean it, you can never have too many candles) to create a glowing ambiance without the fire hazard. Bust out the precious treasures normally stored in cedar chests — we’re talking heirloom silver, fine china, monogrammed linens, crystal goblets — now is the time to let your keepsakes shine. And don’t forget to create the ultimate playlist featuring all your favorite Christmas tunes.

An Artful Arrangement

Once the table has been set (hint: we love anything with gold), create place cards for each of your guests and fill the center of the table with a beautiful and unique arrangement. A dinner party revolves around the dining table, and the centerpiece is at the heart of it all. We adore sprigs of faux pine and lifelike berries mingled with an unexpected companion like bright poppies for a twist on classic holiday colors.

CHEF’S TABLE

When it comes to your main menu, we recommend serving your signature dish — the one you’ve been perfecting for years and have down to a science. This will save you any stress or anxiety you may face by trying something new and risking it not turning out properly. If you’re compelled to experiment, save it for dessert. This way, if something goes awry, you can always choose not to serve it and offer up a plate of Christmas cookies from the bakery instead.

Giving Thanks

‘Tis the gifting season – the time to recognize your loved ones with tokens from the heart. Guests always appreciate a party favor, and during the holidays you can’t go wrong with a luxury candle or a thoughtful ornament. It’s a warm thanks for joining the holiday celebration and all the joy that the festivities bring.

Shop all Holiday

How do you holiday? Show us your dinner party pics by following us on Instagram and using #LiveFrontgate on your posts. For holiday entertaining throughout the season, read our essential guide for hosting out-of-town guests.