10 holiday entertaining tips

Hosting is hard. You're juggling not only producing food and drinks but also balancing a variety of personalities and remaining upbeat and welcoming throughout. I caught up with event planning expert Elizabeth Lutz of Glass Event Planning who shared her no-fail holiday entertaining tips. A hostess through and through, Eliza is used to throwing fêtes for hundreds of people, the woman knows what she's talking about when it comes to throwing a great bash (big or small).10 Holiday Entertaining Tips

Bar Cart / Glasses / Sheepskin / Moroccan Pouf / Moscow Mule Mugs

1. Set your time and be clear about it with your guests. If you're doing a cocktail party from 5PM-7PM for example, you're going to want to have more food on hand because it's right in the middle of dinner and people will be hungry. But if your party is from 7PM on people will know that they should have something to eat before and will expect only light apps.

2. You set the tone. If you're acting awkward and floundering, guests will pick up on it and it's going to make them feel uncomfortable. Do your best to keep your stress levels low and be a guest at your party too!

3. Flattering lighting is essential. Contained candles (you never want loose candles, unless you're hosting a seated dinner) floor lamps, and dimmer switches can all create cozy and soft lighting.

4. Keep an eye on your guests. If you're paying attention you can tell if people's glasses need to be refilled, if they're too hot/too cold, or if they're looking for a trash can. Be there to help out when you see them searching for something.

5. Don't skimp on apps. If you're throwing a two-hour cocktail party, each guest is going to need about 14 apps. One appetizer counts as 1 oz. roughly (handy for calculating how much cheese you'd need). Also, when possible serve apps that taste great at room temp, so there's no pressure.

6. Make sure your house smells great! But not scented. Don't go overboard with the perfume or use scented candles, it can mess with the taste of the food. The smell of cooking food or baked goods always works to create a cozy feeling.

7. Offer them a drink first thing. Greeting guests with enthusiasm and a drink never hurts! Plus everyone is always more comfortable with a drink (or something) in their hands.

8. No one knows what you wanted the party to look or feel like. People freak out about entertaining because they want it to be perfect. The best advice? Nobody knows what you wanted it to be. What they do know is that they're going to play off your energy. By the time your guests arrive, you need to have fun and be at peace. They don't know that you meant to serve rolls but you burned them. The best parties take on a life of their own.

9. You gotta have music! Too loud or too soft, is no good. If it's too loud then people can't talk. Use Pandora or Spotify without commercials and pick something that is upbeat. You want people to be having fun!

10. Check in with yourself and rely on your five senses. Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound will all be important, make sure they're all engaged when you have guests over.

The post 10 holiday entertaining tips appeared first on Prosecco & Plaid.

RELATED: Can't go wrong with a great holiday cocktail

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Can't go wrong with a great holiday cocktail
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Can't go wrong with a great holiday cocktail

Hibiscus Rose Mimosa

"We love the sweet and tart flavor combination of rosé and hibiscus, but the way the wild hibiscus blossom petals open up in the glass when rosé is poured over top sends us over the moon." - Beard and Bonnet

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Tipsy Caramel Smores

"Have you ever had a tipsy milkshake? Well, they are the best of both worlds; dessert and booze. I can get my buzz on while fulfilling my sweet tooth! That makes me one happy girl." - With Salt and Wit

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Mezcal Holiday Punch

"If you haven’t gotten your drink sitch planned out yet friends, this one just might be it." - Hola Jalapeno

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Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail

"It was nicely balanced, and loved the spicy kick the fresh ginger gave it. Also, I'm a sucker for pretty much anything with St. Germain, so there's that." - Fix Feast Flair

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Rosemary Gimlet

"I’ll be honest. This is one of my favorite cocktails to make and drink. Once you have the ingredients it’s so simple and incredibly delicious." - Today's Nest

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Cranberry Mimosa

"This week I’m back with a holiday cocktail and not just any holiday cocktail but a cranberry mimosa recipe that will have you asking for seconds and thirds. Watch on for this easy recipe!" - Endlessly Elated

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Cranberry Sparkler

"So add booze to these, or don’t – they are damn good either way.  Plus they are super festive and you can use up any of those extra cranberries you have around the house. And that sprig of rosemary – so fragrant and like a Christmas tree in your drink!" - A Happy Food Dance

Get the recipe here!

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