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Secrets to super easy Holiday Entertaining

I like big parties and I can not lie: sometimes I tend to overdo it, and when I do, I am stressed, overwhelmed and hope that people would just leave!
There I said it. Isn’t it horrible?

The best parties are the ones where I call my husband at lunch time “hey, invite everyone over, let’s have a little party tonight.” Of course it’s not the most polite way to invite guests over, but with the live-in-the-moment invitations also come zero expectations of a party well-planned and the emphasis is always on having fun, like ANY party should be. Whether you are hosting a very well planned party, or an impromptu Holiday soiree, read these tips how to make it a success with a very little effort. For example I created this quick Holiday afternoon coffee pictured in an hour, including the baking time.


1. Know your party tip resources.

Also known as “join Pinterest”. I share everything I love on Pinterest, and find everything needed for hosting great parties. I have one board for party food and cocktails, another one where there are several of my friends too collecting the best cocktails, another one for party decorating, and one just for table settings. When I want to host a party – I typically immediately know which board to go to get the recipes or ideas needed. If you like it old school – have a binder with recipe and idea cutouts from your favorite magazines, or have a well-stocked cookbook library.

2. Learn to use what you have.
Hosting parties can be expensive, especially if you include the decorating as well. Learn to use what you have in hand, and learn to make easy centerpieces, like using edible things as part of the decorating (candy in bowls, fruit on a tray..). Choose a theme or color scheme and stick to it, and making it pretty in 15 minutes or less is easy.

For my afternoon coffee I used two large candle holders as my centerpiece but instead of candles I used Christmas ornaments inside them to give it a quick festive look. I chose blue, white and silver as my decorating colors and mixed old and new dishes that fit the color scheme. It’s OK to mix modern design and vintage finds!

3. Have a well-stocked kitchen.
While yes.. learn to use what you have, but also have a well-stocked kitchen and know how to use what you have. Let’s say you never use a specific kitchen gadget you have, but choose a recipe for your party that requires using the gadget, chances are you will need extra time just to learn to use the gadget. I recommend having simple white dinnerware and serving dishes that you can use in any themed party and easily mix with colors. I don’t believe in disposable plates or cups, but I do stock different colored paper napkins to easily set a colorful table. Entertaining is so much easier when you have the basics.

4. Have a well-stocked pantry
You probably have a few favorite party recipes, or have favorite Holiday time treats you like to offer for guests? Keep ingredients stocked for the entire Holiday season so you don’t have to worry about the basics when you plan your party. My basics during the Holidays are gingerbread cookies, chocolate pralines, assorted nuts and mulled wine, or what we call glögi in Finland, also ready to be warmed up and kept in a thermos for guests. I typically like keeping the spiced wine in the thermos when entertaining and brew the coffee nice and fresh. In addition you can never go wrong with crackers & cheese, and having a few puffy pastry sheets in the freezer for fast treats like the Toblerone Pastries.

5. Add music.
Holiday music has a mysterious way to put anyone into Holiday cheer, make sure you have some Holiday music that makes everyone in your party feel cheery whether it’s smooth Holiday jazz, or jingle bells, add some music to your party. To get you started… check out the Skimbaco Holiday Mix on Spotify.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Breville. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert with a mission to inspire people to live life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. Read Katja's full bio and connect with Katja on Twitter as @skimbaco or @katjapresnal. Katja is currently living her happily-ever-after in Sweden with her husband, and three children (whom were all born in different countries within three years). When not working she is cooking big family dinners, planning her next trip or skiing.