How to Best Prepare For and Host a Holiday Party

Follow these simple rules and you’ll be an expert host or hostess, too
Holiday Party Tips

The flawless tips are perfect for any holiday party you’ll throw this season.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah, these tips are essential to a successful party.

 Be Prepared: The key to throwing a fabulous party is being prepared. That means shopping a day ahead of time, laying out all of your place settings, and, of course, picking out the perfect party outfit. For a fun holiday gathering, ask guests to dress as a character from their favorite holiday movie, then take turns guessing which one they chose!

Potluck with a Purpose: Assign different guests dishes to bring for different courses, such as a salad or the mashed potatoes, for an easy, fuss-free community type dinner.

Concoct a Colossal Cocktail: Don’t throw away your mother’s punch bowl just yet! Rather than slaving away behind the bar, try creating a bountiful batch of party punch or serving pitchers of wine spritzers. Better yet, set up a “buffet bar” and serve three different libations with corresponding garnishes so guests can help themselves!

Reindeer Games: For a holiday party, try a seasonal trivia game to see which friends are most knowledgeable about traditions and holiday history. Festive gifts can be awarded to winners, and the games can be played in a “White Elephant” fashion. Each time a guest gets the answer right, they can pick or steal a sought-after gift from another player — this adds a little competition.

Keep it Interesting: Spice up your get-together with a DIY photo booth. Giving guests something to focus on can really help them come out of their shells! Utilize fun props like ugly holiday sweaters and ski poles as your friends snap away. You can also create a custom hashtag exclusive to your party, where your friends can tag each other. #SoGusto!

After Dinner Sipper: Everyone loves relaxing with a coffee or tea after dinner. Turn your home into a deluxe café (we use our NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto machine), which will allow you to serve party-goers their choice of hot and cold drinks like mochas and vanilla latte macchiatos. You’re sure to satisfy everyone’s craving! For a more grown-up after dinner treat, spike your coffee drink with a cream liqueur instead of milk for a more spirited sipper.


Stay Connected: Be sure to send a group email or Facebook message after the party to thank everyone for coming. It’s a great way to connect people who met at the party but didn’t exchange information. You may be the catalyst for a new romance, or at least new friends!