• Tell Your Friends

I know what you’re thinking – there’s no way we can make holiday entertaining simple, stylish and stress-free. Why yes, yes we can. The holidays may naturally be a hectic time of year with out-of-town guests coming to visit, presents to buy and beautify and the general end-of-the-year hustle and bustle, but we promise you can add professional holiday hostess to the list, too. Here’s how:

Dress Your Dining Room

dress your dining room for the holidaysDress Your Dining Room for the Holidays

Start with the chairs (simple, yet festive embellishments will do) and then add decorative details to the table, chandelier and buffet table. Handmade place cards, a restaurant-style menu, centerpiece and table runner will top off the look.

Create a Festive Holiday Tablescape

holiday centerpieces and table settings1. Rustic Christmas Settings 2. Tiny Boxwood Centerpiece 3. Silver and White Settings 4. Sparkling Pinecone Settings 5. Mossy Gift Box Centerpiece

You know those drool-worthy tablescapes you find on some amazing website that look too complicated to create so you end up pulling out the holiday paper plates instead? Well, we have killer table settings and centerpieces that you can put together on your own without a long supply list. (But I promise guests will easily think you spent much longer perfecting every detail.)

Concoct Crowd-Pleasing Cocktails

pumpkin pie martiniPumpkin Pie Martini

There are very few things people love more around the holidays than pumpkin pie. Turn that into a cocktail and you have an instant favorite. Discover 15 Holiday Cocktail Recipes >>

Make Your Guests Feel Right at Home

holiday hosting and decoratingGetting Ready for Holiday Guests

Whether hosting Christmas brunch or housing overnight guests, discover creative and clever ways to make everyone feel right at home during the holidays.

Find more entertaining tips, ideas, inspiration and more in our Hosting the Holidays feature.

What’s your secret to stress-free holiday hosting? Tell us in the comments!

11 Responses

  1. Christina says:

    I love the pine cones. I just used some glittery ones myself to decorate my garland draped mantel. :)

    Christina http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/

  2. [...] Table Settings, Centerpieces + Cocktails HGTV Design Happens Fri, December 16, 2011 3:00 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share (function(){var [...]

  3. Sophia says:

    I love to use pieces of nature with the perfect lighting. I take logs that are about 3-6" in diameter and cut them into varied sizes, those are my candle holders and if you can find logs with varied grains or colors, even better…around the bases I use pine garland and pine cones…a twig or two of red/white berries and even made one arrangement with small white pointsettias. Simple and perfect.

  4. fire wife katie says:

    Love these ideas! Here's my contribution – my DIY oversized table bow…

    http://firewifekatie.blogspot.com/2011/12/diy-ove

  5. Paula says:

    I always try to make things instead of buy them. I don't know why but here are my ornament place card holders I made from Dollar Tree Ornaments:
    http://www.partylikepaula.com/2011/12/place-card-

  6. Sherry says:

    We have just finished an amazing upcycle, which we will be showing off during our holiday entertaining. It's not only pretty…it's very functional. It's a 1930's Radio Cabinet Mini Bar. Here's a link if you would like to see our handi-work:

    http://ponderedprimedperfected.blogspot.com/2011/

  7. Kayla@HGTV says:

    What a great idea! I'm sure it adds a beautiful and rustic look. Plus, what a great way to use pieces right from your backyard!

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Kayla KittsKayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com. You can find her doing at least one of the following: shopping for home decor at local vintique stores, picking out produce at...

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