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holiday entertaining in a custom home
December 1, 2014

5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining in a Custom Home

The holidays are just around the corner and are a wonderful time to invite friends, family, and colleagues to celebrate the Season and enjoy your new home with you.

#1 – Plan Ahead

There are many details to consider when hosting holiday parties – invitation lists, invitations, food, and so on. Be organized and spread out planning the details so you’re not overwhelmed by trying to do too much in too little time.  Consider planning as part of the event – it is possible to enjoy the planning of the party as well as the party itself.

#2 – Cook or Cater

Whether you use your new custom kitchen to prepare food for the party yourself or have a caterer participate, it is one of the biggest considerations in entertaining guests.


If you are the cook, choose a variety of food items that don’t all have to be prepared the day of the party. Doing the cooking yourself can be one way to give your party a personal touch as it reflects your style and preferences.


If you choose to leave the cooking to someone else, there are many options available. Most restaurants do some type of catering, however, they typically are food-only services and provide no service personnel. There are many excellent private caterers in the area who not only prepare and deliver food, but will set up, serve formally or informally, and clean up. You can save the date with your caterer far before you have to determine the menu.

#3 – Hosting


Hosting family and close friends is a great way to share the enjoyment of your custom built home.  As the host, you can help make lasting memories by thinking through not only food, but also some unique and fun things for them to do throughout the day.  Consider ideas that involve all ages and generations together.


Hosting a celebration where the guests are less known to each other requires different kinds of attention from the hosts.  It is important to greet each guest at the door, give them some sense of direction, and introduce them to other guests.  This kind of celebration runs more smoothly if someone else helps manage the kitchen and bar leaving you time to enjoy hosting your guests.

#4 – Special Considerations

Following are details that are easily overlooked:

Coats and Purses

Determine where you will put your guests’ things and if they will take them to the designated location or if that’s something you will do on their behalf.


Often guests bring a thank you gift. For gifts of wine or other food or drink items, ask if they’d like you to share the gift with all the guests being aware that some intend the gift for you personally.  For gifts of flowers or plants, plan ahead where you will place them.  Because not everyone will bring gifts, it’s appropriate to remove cards and wrapping accessories prior to display. 

Home Tours

As you are sharing the joy of your new custom-built home, there is a good chance you will be asked by your guests if they can tour your home.  Determine beforehand if you want to do this and if so, will you give individual tours of your entire house if asked or let your guests guide themselves?  If you determine you’d rather not give tours, think through how you will communicate this to your guests so it’s not awkward for you or for them.

#5 – Enjoy!

When you plan well, you should be able to enjoy the party along with your guests.  Remember it’s the host’s mood that sets the tone for the celebration.  If you are relaxed and settled with your preparations, anticipating a great time with your guests, they in turn will be relaxed and will have a great time enjoying the warmth and spirit of the holidays in your custom home.


photo courtesy of: Ron Cogswell


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