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How To
Host a Holiday Open House

How To Host A Holiday Open House

Kick off the holidays by hosting a casual, drop-in event for neighbors, family and friends. By opening your home for a whole afternoon and/or evening, people can come and go as they please, giving you the flexibility to mix and mingle with everyone. Here’s how to host a memorable holiday open house.

Set a Date

Send out a traditional invite through the mail, or create an e-invitation or social media event for an interactive way to give everyone the details. (You can even create some buzz with a fun countdown.) We all know how busy the holiday season is, so try to give your guests as much notice as possible.

Tip: Make sure to specify whether kids are welcome or if it’s an adults-only soiree.

Do Your Prep Work

Plan the food and drink menus ahead of time. Because open houses can last for several hours, keep it simple. Whip up or order in appetizers and sweets that can sit out at room temperature and don’t require reheating – and that guests can enjoy while standing and mingling. Mix and middle a signature cocktail day of, and place it in a drink dispenser that can do all the work come party time.

Tip: If you aren’t using disposable dinnerware, make sure your dishwasher is empty before the party starts. Load it up after everyone has left, turn it on and take it easy.

Set the Tone

Create an inviting ambiance with music, seasonal scents and twinkling LED lights. If your garden thrives year-round, grab some sprigs of shrubbery and flowers from your yard to create bouquets that will add life to the party.

Tip: Fill your house with yummy scents with this easy simmer pot recipe.


1 whole orange, quartered

½ cup cranberries

1 tbsp. whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

A pinch of nutmeg

Directions: Combine ingredients with water and simmer on low throughout the party.

Break the Ice

Engaging your guests will make them more comfortable, and more likely to mingle. Keep them entertained with a card-making station pulled together with items you may already have, like cardstock and stickers. Or create a DIY photo booth by hanging matte holiday wrapping paper on a spare wall and set out fun props.

Tip: Purchase a couple selfie sticks for your photo booth – a practical and trendy addition to the party. 

Give Out Festive Favors

Package little mementos for your guests to take home as a special holiday gift. A small poinsettia is seasonal and inexpensive, while a cookie cutter with a favorite family recipe attached makes a sweet sentiment. (’Tis the season for giving, after all.)

Tip: You can also incorporate some silent auction and raffle prizes, and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice.

Enjoy the Party

The most gracious host is also a guest, so be present and have some fun of your own. The most important thing is spending time with friends and family.