Your Go-To Guide for Holiday Hosting

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Wow, the holidays kinda crept up on us this year! There’s no escaping it and we bet you'll have to have to host a holiday party (or two!) for your friends, family, employees, or neighbours. No matter who you're having over, you want to make everyone feel welcome and happy to be sharing a holiday party with you.

Here's your holiday hosting checklist:

Make a list

And check it twice! That's a little Christmas humour for you there but Santa’s right. A list helps you keep organized and on track. Sit down with your family (and go through the rest of this article) to brainstorm everything you'll need for a fabulous holiday party.

Delegate tasks to everyone in your family. Even your little kids can be in charge of helping to choose decorations.

Choose a date and time

A get-together for families with children may be better during the day, or early evening. While a more – ahem – "festive" party for adults will usually start around eight.

Pick a time that works for most, and plan early so people can make it.


Facebook and Evite are the most common ways to send invites these days. And there’s nothing wrong with that depending on the crowd you're inviting and the type of party you're having.

More formal dinner parties and elegant get-togethers demand a formal invitation. Get these done up well in advance. If you've left it too late, a save-the-date sent by email will suffice until you're able to drop off/mail your invitations.


This is arguably what will make or break your party! If you’re a true entertainer and love every minute of it, go ahead and plan a proper sit-down dinner. If your crowd is more laid-back, or you don’t have the time or energy, host a potluck and have everyone take part.

Even if you’re not hosting a "dinner" or "meal" party per se, appies are an absolute must. How fancy you decide to go is completely up to you but keep them bite-sized, and easy to eat. Factor about 12-15 pieces per person for an appie/cocktail party and 3-5 per person at a dinner party.

As for drinks, have a variety of options available for different tastes. Mixed drinks tend to be popular at holiday parties. If you fancy yourself a bit of a bartender, create a signature drink that you can serve as one option.

Don't forget about the designated drivers in your group. It’s important to have a large variety of non-alcoholic drinks such as sparkling ciders, sodas and juice options. 


It’s likely your home is already decorated for the season and that’s what people want to see. Your house has probably never been cleaner or fancier so what a great time to show it off! 

Think theme!

It doesn’t have to be fancy it can be as simple as holiday-themed. That can mean different things to people with different cultures and beliefs. As I said in the décor section, chances are your home is decorated anyway so just roll with it!

Maybe your friends and family will enjoy an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party, or a "Come in Your Christmas PJs" brunch. Give people a nice break from the formal holiday parties a lot of people attend at this time of year. 


If you haven’t played "Dirty Christmas" then you’re missing out! It’s a take on Secret Santa gifts but everyone attending brings a wrapped gift that isn’t for anyone in particular. Everyone then takes a number so if 15 people take part there will be 15 numbers. Number one chooses one gift to unwrap, then person 2 can choose to steal number one’s gift OR unwrap another. And on and on, until everyone has stolen or unwrapped a gift. WARNING: This game can cause quite the lively time!

And most importantly…

Relax and have fun!

This should be a fun, festive gathering and you want your guests to have a great time. They don’t expect everything to be absolutely perfect, so sit back and have a good time and lots of laughs!


We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!