7 Great Holiday Hosting Shortcuts
Because you can do it all...but you don’t want to
We’re not really sure what came over us (that elusive holiday spirit, perhaps?), but we’ve firmly decided that we’re going to host an impromptu holiday shindig. At home. Tonight.
Sound insane? With minimal effort, you, too, can pull off a killer holiday fete that looks like it took months of planning.
Behold our seven super-smart tips and tricks for making it all come together in just a few hours.
FAKE A CLEAN HOME
A deep clean would be lovely, but you’ve got 45 minutes, woman. The most important thing you can do: Clear every counter and tabletop of clutter and hide the mess away (you can deal with that stack of mail in the hamper. Then give each surface a spritz of all-purpose cleaner for a little extra shine. No one will be scrutinizing the corners of your baseboards anyway.
SAY NO TO COMPLICATED DECOR
Two words: string lights. No decorative element is warmer, more festive, cheaper or easier to hang. String them from the walls and ceiling, wrap them around your bike, let them drape around willy-nilly on your tabletop…you get the idea.
BUT SAY YES TO HELP
Resist the urge to do it all yourself. Maybe your best friend is a whiz at turning grocery-store bouquets into stunning arrangements. Maybe your coworker insists on bringing her world-famous cheesecake bars to every holiday function. For the love of God, let them help you!
GET A FRIDGE THAT DOUBLES AS A BARISTA
A houseful of guests = a boatload of coffee requests…and all at different times. But long gone are the days of brewing an entire pot of java that sits around and gets stale. The built-in Keurig brewing system on GE’s Café Series French-door refrigerator takes care of your warm-beverage dilemmas. Single-serve coffee (or tea, cider or cocoa, for that matter) is quickly dispensed with the push of a button, meaning it’s always the freshest.
MAKE A FESTIVE DRINK...IN YOUR CROCK-POT
Mulled wine (or vin chaud, if you’re feeling French and fancy) is the single greatest hot adult beverage of all time. While you’re getting ready, toss a cheap bottle of red, some apple cider, brandy and a few other accoutrements into your slow cooker. By the time you’ve applied your last swipe of mascara, the deliciousnesswill be ready and your house will smell amazing. Keep it on the “warm” setting and let guests help themselves all night long.
GLAM UP A STORE-BOUGHT CHEESE PLATE
When you factor in the unwrapping, the slicing and the arranging of party appetizers, it’s no wonder the cheese plate always takes up so much of your valuable prep time. This is no time to be a holiday heroine: Embrace the store-bought platter, with its precut crudités and perfectly cubed cheddar. Transfer everything to a pretty cutting board, add a drizzle of honey and toss on some dried fruit and nuts.