7 Holiday Hints Every Stylish Hostess Should Know

Entertaining tips from some of our favorite tastemakers!

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Before you know it, your mailbox and email will be cluttered with invitations to office holiday celebrations, neighborhood get-togethers, and Christmas cocktail parties. It’s never too early to start planning your own festive fete–let’s get those invites in the works! Take the advice from some of our favorite hostesses who’ve thrown many a holiday party and done it, well, flawlessly. With these simple entertaining tricks, you too can throw a seasonal and stylish soiree that’s #SOdomino.

holiday entertaining white room with white christmas tree and red chairs

Cassandra LaValle,

Seattle For cohesive holiday decor, embrace the color of your existing furniture and accessories and let your festive decorations complement them. Take note of Cassandra LaValle’s office holiday party tablescape and tree. She’s chosen a neutral color palette with pops of deep crimson to mimic the red-toned velvet chairs.

Follow Cassandra LaValle’s Coco+Kelley on Instagram. Check out her blog, cocokelley.com.

holiday entertaining jenni kayne girl in gray sweater with christmas decor
Photography by RIP & TAN

Jenni Kayne,

California Always opt for lush, live greenery. When entertaining during the holidays, you’ll want guests to feel like you’ve decorated specifically for the occasion. Nothing says “I threw this together last minute” quite like a centerpiece of dingy fake garland and ornaments that you pulled down from the attic! Another pro tip: prepare for guests with dietary restrictions. Here is Jenni’s guide to cooking delicious veggie dishes for the holidays.

Check out the entire tablescape via Rip & Tan.

Black and White Portrait

Natasha Habermann,

New York City Don’t let your small space hold you back from hosting a festive holiday gathering. Natasha Habermann’s got the right idea! Instead of closing off your bedroom, toss seasonal throw pillows and blankets onto your bed and use it as a chic sitting space. It’ll prevent overcrowding in the living room and give you a more private area for, you know, girl talk.

Check out Natasha’s guide to throwing a holiday cocktail party via domino.

Photography by BERNHAUT JUSTIN

Rita Konig,

New York City
Rita Konig also knows a thing or two about small space entertaining. Her entertaining must? Hire a bartender! Even in her tiny apartment, she makes room for this cocktail party luxury that puts your average self-serve Solo cup bar to shame.

Check out more of Rita’s holiday entertaining tips via domino.

holiday entertaining eva kosmes flores cooking

Eva Kosmes Flores,

Pacific Northwest And speaking of bars, it’s always impressive to provide variety. Serving three variations of eggnog suggests a seriously well-planned fete, no?

Find Eva’s eggnog recipes and how to style a rustic cocktail party via Adventures in Cooking.

holiday entertaining julia reed christmas decor in dining room

Julia Reed,

New Orleans Entertaining extraordinaire Julia Reed has written several books on the art of the cocktail party. She’s even coined the phrase “cocktail supper,” and it’s a term you’ll quickly learn to love (and use!). Around the holidays, it’s too much of a hassle to plan a sitdown dinner, what with all of those parties happening to fall on exact same night. Plan to serve heavy hors d’oeurves for substantial munching. That way, guests can pop in to eat and mingle as they please. But they certainly won’t leave your place with an empty stomach.

Follow Julia Reed on Instagram. Purchase her latest book, Julia Reed’s South, on Amazon.

holiday entertaining overhead making cinnamon stick christmas ornaments

Camille Styles,

Austin Don’t let your guests leave empty-handed. Either DIY a thoughtful “happy” for your guests beforehand, or better yet, encourage your friends to make an ornament at the party over cocktails and snacks!

Find these DIY cinnamon stick ornaments via Camille Styles.