How to Host a Festive Holiday Open House

Tips and essentials for hosting a fun Holiday Open House this season.

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Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family, and my favorite way to do this is by hosting a Holiday Open House. An open house is so much simpler than a sit down dinner party, and gives you the chance to mix and mingle with family, friends, and neighbors in a relaxed, festive setting.

Hosting a Holiday Open House is easy! With a few tips and some of my favorite essentials, you can open your doors this Christmas and enjoy a celebration that is sure to become a tradition in your family too.

How to Host a Festive Holiday Open House

The secret to a great Holiday Open House is to keep it simple, so that you can relax and enjoy your guests. With a few special touches, you can make it memorable for everyone!

The first step is choosing your date and time. With all the holiday festivities happening before Christmas, finding a date can be tough! Here's my secret: we often host our holiday open house the week between Christmas and New Year's. A lot of our friends and family have some time off work and most of the other programs and festivities have passed. But there is still plenty to celebrate and good times to come.

Choose a date that works best for you and a 2 to 3 hour block of time for your open house. I suggest picking a time in the mid-afternoon, between normal "meal" times. In a true open house, guests will likely come and go throughout the party. Setting a definite beginning and end time will help keep things on track.

Choosing the Food for your Open House

An open house doesn't call for a full sit down meal. But you'll want to have yummy food for guests to snack on. An easy (and delicious) option is a cheese board featuring Castello gourmet cheese.

Castello makes it super easy for you to create the perfect cheese board for your party with its online cheese board builder. You can answer questions on your tastes and even your dietary restrictions to find a combination your guests will love. I'm a big fan of the Aged Havarti and Gouda, while I know my mom is going to love the Traditional Danish Blue. Try the cheese board builder here.

Another great option for party food is bite sized appetizers: mini quiche, spring rolls, pizza bites, etc. Make it easy on yourself and don't try to make all of them from scratch - you can find delicious frozen options at the grocery store.

No matter what you choose, be sure to pick up some PAM Cooking Spray to make sure that your appetizers don't get stuck on your pans. PAM's non aerosol canola oil and olive oil sprays are a staple in our house. I love their superior non stick performance and the fact that there's no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

PS - download the ibotta app and earn cash back on your purchase of PAM Spray Pump!

Of course, you'll need some sweet options too, and nothing is better than Christmas cookies. You can encourage your guests to bring cookies for an old fashioned cookie swap, or set up a cookie decorating station for the kids.

Nothing goes better with cookies than milk (just ask Santa), so be sure to head to Cracker Barrel and pick up these adorable Christmas milk bottles (and take 30% off site-wide with the code SHOP30). I'm just in love with these - they are my favorite table accent of the season!

Holiday Open House Decor

One of the best parts about hosting a holiday open house is that your house is already decorated, so you don't need to add anything to make it look party ready.

What you may need is some extra touches for appetizers you can serve in style. Instead of toothpicks, I love these snowflake appetizer picks from Cracker Barrel. They're super cute and perfect for all your yummy bites!

You'll also want to make sure you have the right serving dishes and accessories. I have a soft spot for snowmen and I think these glass serving plates from Christmas Central are perfect for a holiday party.

Christmas Central is your one stop shop for holiday décor with everything from tableware to trees.

A Special Tip for Dog Moms

After the food and décor has been planned, there's one more thing you need to remember before your party starts. If you have dogs like I do, you know that a house full of delicious food and new people may be too tempting (or too scary). Give your pups their very own yummy snacks and food to keep them entertained so you and your guests can relax.

Wellness pet food is a great choice for your pet, and Wellness core is a convenient, safe, and easy way to incorporate raw protein into your pet's diet. Our dogs love Wellness and I love feeding it to them knowing that is is 100% meat with no fillers.

I always give our dogs a special chew when we have guests over, and WHIMZEES treats are a great choice, with only six primary, all natural ingredients and nothing artificial. Plus they freshen breath, clean teeth, and promote gum health. It's a dog mom win!

Now all you need for the perfect Holiday Open House is your friends and family! 

With these easy tips and essential accessories, you'll be ready to welcome your guests to a festive, relaxed gathering. And you'll be able to enjoy the party too.

I'd love to hear from you! To get in touch, message me on Facebook or Instagram, or send me an email.