To help prepare you for all of your holiday hosting and entertaining, we’ve put together a compilation of some of the best holiday homemaking advice we’ve gotten over the years. Check out great dining and decorating tips from DIY’s Mark Montano, event designers Preston Bailey and Colin Cowie, and cleaning tips from the legendary Martha Stewart.
The rule of “use”
Not all gifts are truly appropriate for every situation. If you’re attending a dinner party or housewarming, and the host is juggling a number of duties, you may want to be a little more selective in what you choose to bring. Colin’s best tip, in situations like these, is to “bring something to the host’s house that they feel they don’t have to use right away.” This clears the host of any pressing obligations, and allows them to enjoy the gift later, after the stress has faded. “A fabulous wine, a bottle of olive oil, your favorite CD,” Colin suggests, “and you can never go wrong with champagne.” As for scented candles (one of my favorite gifts), Colin approves, although he acknowledges it is the “best way to burn money”
What you shouldn’t bring –
- Flowers – Flowers, while lovely, instantly turn your host into a flower arranger. They have to abandon their current duties to go clip stems, find a vase, and make sure they have a place to be. If you want to send flowers, it might be best to send them after – the next day, “thanking them for the wonderful time at the party,” suggests Colin.
- Food/ Desserts – “Don’t arrive with a baked pie that she feels compelled to serve,” says Colin, “because it may not work with their menu.”
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