Last-Minute Holiday Entertaining Essentials

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It’s inevitable during the holidays. You get a last minute invite, or a friend springs an unannounced visit on you. Whether you’re attending a festive soiree, or hosting an impromptu get together, there’s no reason to be caught off guard if you keep these tips and tricks in mind!

Three Ways to Wear the Little Black Dress

The Look

Just because you’re getting prepared at the last-minute doesn’t mean you can’t pull a great look together! As Kristjan Hayden shows you here, party-perfect hair can be as simple as a sexy side bun or playful ponytail.

As for your outfit, look no further than that reliable — and hot — little black dress. Already wore it once this season? No problem! Here we’ve got three ways to differentiate it, so it can take you all the way through party season.

Finally, if you just want to give what you’re already wearing a little kick in the style department, all you need are some clip-on earrings to elevate your top, shoes, or hairband. Take a look at a few examples here.

Make-Ahead Holiday Meals

The Food

To be ready for last-minute entertaining, it’s all about food you can make ahead. Luckily, our friends at In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita have thought ahead themselves and put together this selection of make-ahead mains, from a hearty cassoulet to lasagna. As for make-ahead sides, Best Recipes Ever’s got great ideas here like roasted root vegetables with thyme. They’ve also got make-ahead apps like thai chicken salad croustades here. Finally, for dessert: these make-ahead icebox cookies!

Alternatively, you can spruce up the snacks you have with these tips on how to present them. Nothing says happy holidays like mini donuts in festive tree form.

Last-Minute Holiday Gifts

The Gifts

It’s always a great idea to have a few festive gifts on hand that work as hostess gifts or seasonal surprises for unannounced guests. Ornaments — store bought or decorated at home — are often a safe bet. And if you wrap them up in these creative ways, it makes them even more special.

You can also have a few gifts on hand on a theme. For the foodie in your life, it can be as simple as a breakfast board with a nice tea towel and some jams. A last-minute trip to the florist for a bouquet can be jazzed up by packaging it with a plant holder, flower food and small sheers. Plus, Cocktail Deeva Dee has great bar accessory recommendations for your friends who enjoy a little festive bubbly.

Finally, you can have the last laugh on the guest who springs out of nowhere, by having any one of these wacky gifts on hand for them. (Singing Santa hat, anyone?)

The Entertainment

Never underestimate the power of conversation and a strong cocktail. If you feel your last-minute holiday fete is becoming a little snooze-worthy, however, we’ve got ideas of how to kick it up a notch with 60-second games! Click here to find out how a deck of cards, some party cups and multi-coloured candy can lead to party-time hilarity.

And there you have it — all the essentials for a successful holiday get together, pulled together in little time. Don’t believe it can be done? Check out how Web Wonder Woman Jamey Ordolis pulled off a similar feat with the help of the internet.

Happy entertaining!


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