Easy Holiday Entertaining Tips

Spruce up your house and your table with these festive suggestions from Sabrina Soto
Sabrina Soto

As our holiday menus are beginning to take shape and our shopping lists are growing, there is still a lot to be done before we begin our hosting duties for Thanksgiving and the holidays. 

Even if you’ve been entertaining for what seems like eons, it’s never too late to add a few new things to your routine. On the other hand, if this is your first time having people to your house for the holidays, there has never been a better time to take cues from the pros!

Target Style Expert for Home and HGTV designer Sabrina Soto shared her tricks of the trade with us for hosting during the holidays without a hitch.

Here are Soto's amazing go-to suggestions:

Make a list of everything you need to get done and set deadlines. Put big, time-consuming projects, such as getting a tree and stringing lights up outside your house, at the top of your list.

Decide on a color palette before you shop for new décor items. Make a list of what you already own that works with this palette, and then find pieces that you can incorporate easily for flexible looks.

Think "double duty" when shopping for holiday décor pieces and buy items that can be used in multiple ways. For example, the Target Threshold silver wreath ($19.99) is a welcome statement at your front door, but it also can be used as a table centerpiece simply by filling the center with LED candles or hurricanes.

Swap out your existing living room accents with seasonal pillows and throws for an easy way to add holiday cheer to your home. Target has luxe cable-knit throws ($34.99) in a variety of rich, jewel-tone colors that are perfect for the holidays and long into the winter. Threshold throw pillows are a modern update on traditional holiday décor and bring more seasonal color into the living room ($14.99 to $16.99 at Target).

Build menus around dishes you already know how to make, and add one or two new recipes. Dishes that can be made ahead of time and heated up before dinner, such as quiches, will give you more time with your guests. Trust me, you'll need it!

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• Set up buffet stations throughout the kitchen and dining area, with separate stations for appetizers, the main course, drinks, and dessert. The evening is much less stressful without the formal serving element and this setup opens up more room at the dining table.