I’m obsessed with everything about this time of year—the gift-giving, the shopping, the sparkly dresses, the twinkling lights and, of course, the entertaining. Hosting parties is by far is one of the highlights of the season for me because I love to share all my joy (and all the pretty things I pinned) with friends and family.

Although I never hesitate to play hostess, it can be completely overwhelming at the same time.  As I clean, bake, decorate and prep to make sure everything is party-perfect, I have to remind myself that parties are meant to be fun (not stressful), and even if my food is burned and two hours late to the table, my friends and family will still love me.

Since nothing ever goes perfectly when I host this time of year, it doesn’t hurt to have some unexpected and clever items placed strategically around the house that leave guests talking. Check out the slideshow for some things you can easily buy and add to your home that’ll totally impress your holiday guests.