7 Entertaining Ideas to Make Your Holidays Stress-Free

Formal white dining room with upholstered chairs, glass chandelier, and open storage from Ballard DesignsFall is a hectic time of year with the start of a new school year and three back-to-back holidays that keep our social calendar jam packed with activities and entertaining. Gatherings with family and friends are meant to be fun, but it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all your to do list. To make things a bit easier, we have a few entertaining ideas to get your house in holiday mode so you can have enjoyable holiday season.

1. Put Your Table Leaf In

Anything you can do in advance is a great place to start. When the weather starts to cool down, go ahead and put the leaf in your dining table if you have one. That way, you’re all ready for Fall gatherings and all you have to do is set the table for guests.

Entertaining idea, use a velvet table leaf storage bag from Ballard DesignsDo you have a storage bag for your table leaf? A velvet bag is the perfect way to store your table leaf with the piece of mind that it won’t get scratched.

2. Folding Tables and Chairs

If you like having big groups over but you don’t necessarily have space for seating all of the time, consider getting some folding tables and chairs. You can pull them out when the need arises.

One genius entertaining idea? Our folding ballroom chairs coordinate with any type of dining chair and can be dressed up or down. It’s the perfect way to add more spots around your table. 

If you’re having a fancy party, add a slipcover to your ballroom chair. This way no one will feel like they’re at the ‘kids table.’

3. Swap for a Sleeper

Sleeper sofas have come a long way from those lumpy things of your past. Guests always dreaded sleeping on a pull-out couch, but with our new Somerset Sleeper sofa, you don’t have to worry about a lumpy folding mattress or a stretcher bar jamming into your back. 

Entertaining idea for hosting house guests, have a Somerset sleeper sofa in living room pulls out for lounge seating or sleepingAdd one to a den, basement, or guest room for extra sleeping quarters. 

If you know you’ll be hosting family or friends, go ahead and make up your sleeper sofa a few days before they arrive. That way, it’s all ready and you don’t have to worry about it at the last minute.

4. Gift Wrap Station

Once December hits, gift wrapping can feel like a full time job. Consider setting up a gift wrap station so everything is in one place and ready to paper and bag your goodies.

We love our Original Home Office Craft Station which is perfectly sized for papers and ribbon. If you don’t have the space for a large piece like this one, just take a corner of the guest room or the home office with all of the necessities handy.

5. Stock the Bar

Impromptu parties are what the holidays are all about. Stock your bar with everything you’ll need so you can invite guests over at the drop of a hat.

We love decking out a bar with pretty glassware, all of the cocktail making essentials, cocktail napkins and an ice bucket.

On that same note, keep easy appetizers like cheese, crackers, and hummus on hand!

Read more: How to Set up Your Bar for a Holiday Party and Bar Essentials Checklist

6. Static but Stylish Centerpiece

There’s a reason we all love the phrase ‘set it and forget it’ — do the work once, then enjoy the fruits of your labor long after. A few accessories on your table are an easy way to create a centerpiece that sticks around all season. Think faux greenery, chinoiserie urns, or candles.
Faux greenery down the center of a Christmas table with ornaments and candles

Read More: 8 Centerpieces for Your Dining Table when You Aren’t Entertaining

7. Add a Coat Rack

If you have a big holiday party, consider using a coat rack so guests can hang up their things. Our Niles Double Coat Rack stores twice as much because it has two rods.

Double sided coat rack for holiday partyIt sure beats throwing your coat on the bed, plus no one’s jacket gets lost at the bottom of the pile!

Find more entertaining ideas and shortcuts, or get inspired on our website Ballarddesigns.com.

See our related Pinterest Board — Holiday Decor, Entertaining Essentials, and Tabletop Ideas.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.

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