How to Host the Coziest Holiday Party for Friends

In my book, the best party to host during the holidays is one with close friends.

Why? With friends, you don’t have to put on a show or pretend you know how to cook a glazed ham to perfection—there’s no big production necessary—which means hosting a fantastic holiday party will be a cinch, even if you’ve never hosted a get-together before.

All you really need to remember for hosting a holiday party with friends is this one basic rule: keep it casual. Aim for creating a casual, relaxed and completely comfortable environment, and you’re golden. Pretty easy, right?

How to Master Hosting a Holiday Party with Friends

And speaking of easy, here are 3 tips for helping you achieve that perfect laid back holiday party vibe…

1. Set the tone

I love doing something unexpected for a casual party, like low seating, for example.

Pull up a large coffee table for everyone to gather around or make your own using stacks of books and plywood. Then add some comfy pillows and invite everyone to kick their shoes off and get comfy on the floor. Bonus points if you can situate the table outside.

2. Delicious treats

You’re not going to want to slave away in the kitchen while guests are in another room entertaining themselves. And they don’t want you to either. So, make things easy in the food department and go heavy on the appetisers instead of a big feast. Try this pear + goat cheese crostini recipe or any of these holiday appetisers if you’re feeling stuck. You can make everything ahead of time and keep each app warm in the oven for guests as they arrive.

Don’t forget something sweet. After guests have had their fill of entrées, be sure to have some sweets for them to nibble on for dessert. Even if it’s just a delectable chocolate plate to choose from — so easy and so appreciated!

3. Keep it light.

Plan something fun and lighthearted for everyone to participate in after the meal, to keep the party going. Card games and/or board games would be perfect for something like this. I found an awesome set of Bingo cards from J.Crew (they now ship to Australia) and a backgammon game from Games Paradise if you’re looking for suggestions.

How to Master Hosting a Holiday Party with Friends


How to Master Hosting a Holiday Party with Friends

And that’s it. With these quick tips, you’ll be a holiday party pro in no time.

Have your own tips to share for throwing a holiday party with friends? I’d love to hear how you make the holidays friendly and fun for your mates.

More simple ways to entertain these holidays: