Our Best Tips For Hosting A Holiday Party

host a holiday party

Deck the bar cart with boughs of holly! 

Is there anything better than blasting Christmas tunes and inviting over a group of good friends? We think not. Get ready to host your best holiday party yet with these pro tips for letting others help out, along with prepping your bar setup for an easy night of effortless hosting. 

So without further ado, put on your Santa hat and get ready to party with these holiday hosting tips! 


Prior to the party, shoot out a text explaining exactly what you will have — such as wine and some signature cocktails. Make the expectations clear if you expect beer to be BYOB, that way guests don’t walk in the door and say “bah-humbug” because you don’t have any. 


There’s nothing worse than running out of ice, but you won’t have that problem if you have a large bag on hand. If there isn’t any space in the freezer and you live in a cold area, keep the bag outside so it doesn’t melt. Encourage all beers to go outside as well so you can save room in the fridge for any food/appetizers. 


Provide a red AND a white (boxed, bottled or canned) — whatever is easiest for you will work for a large group. However, if you expect all drinks to go on/near the bar cart, two boxes should do the trick. Buy a variety pack of canned wine to go outside with the beers, and there should be plenty of vino to go around. 


Assuming you don’t want to play bartender all night, a chalkboard, whiteboard, or trendy letter board can help out guests. Have a couple of drink ideas made with three ingredients or less, and include all ingredients at the ready so everyone can make their own specialty drink. 


Even if garnishes aren’t your style the rest of the year, having a few out will instantly elevate your home bar during the holidays. A bowl of sugared cranberries, lime wedges, fresh orange peels, and olives should do the trick for most winter drinks. Everyone’s cocktail will feel fancier and taste a little bit better with a fresh ingredient added to the mix. 


These aren’t just for your Grandma’s holiday party! Cocktail napkins are handy for a reason — their perfect square shape is meant for any size bar area. With so many funny options online and in-stores, finding a napkin that livens up your bar cart is easier than ever. Pro tip: These napkins also make useful housewarming and hosting gifts during the holiday season. 


A mini tree, arrangement of tinsel, or funny Elf on the Shelf display will attract guests to your holiday bar area and keep them coming back for more all night long. Just make sure nothing is flammable or gets in the way of your friends mixing up their favorite Christmas cocktails.

Erin Hooker

Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.

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