The Last Minute Holiday Hostess

Some of my most wonderful memories growing up were during the holidays. We didn’t just celebrate one or two days. Rather, my mom and dad hosted many get-togethers, starting at Thanksgiving and running through New Year. My parents hosted many Christmas parties, and other than my father’s company Christmas party that was scheduled, the rest were basically impromptu.

Through the years I observed how my mom pulled this off so elegantly and effortlessly. Here’s what has worked for her and now, for me:

1. Always have in your refrigerator/pantry: fancy cheeses, smoked meats, nuts, olives, dried fruits and specialty crackers. How easy is it to make a pretty platter with these ingredients?

2. Make hors d’oeuvres and freeze them. Now we are so lucky as to be able to buy them already made and frozen. Keep a couple on hand.

hors d’oeuvres Williams-Sonoma

3. Don’t skip dessert! Something as simple as fine chocolate and a pretty holiday cookie can do the trick.

Chocolate and Cookies

4. Invest in festive platters or a set of dishes. It is so much more elegant to serve on real dishes as opposed to plastic or paper. Stemware is also a lot more fun to drink out of than a regular glass, no matter what the drink.

Christmas Table

5. Use linens. Beautiful tablecloths and napkins always add charm and beauty to a small get-together. It says to your guests that they are special!

Christmas Table Cloth - Williams Sonoma

6. Decorate with fresh greenery, flowers, cranberries (think holidays) or citrus fruits on a plate or table centerpiece. Store greens in the garage or someplace cool, in a pitcher of water.

Holiday Table Top Greenery

Try these 6 simple steps to make your holidays more relaxed. It has worked for me and my mom so well throughout the years. Focus on what’s important; spending quality time with your friends and family.


Lisa Cook - Interior Designer Allied Member ASID

Lisa Cook

Interior Designer Allied Member ASID


4 thoughts on “The Last Minute Holiday Hostess

  1. Absolutely brilliant. Love impromptu parties – and they don’t have to be too complicated, just some good quality treats on hand, served on a nice platter as you say. Jolly good times!

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