Life·10 min read

16 Hosting Hacks That’ll Make the Holiday Season a Cinch

12 Hosting Hacks That’ll Make the Holiday Season a Cinch
Design: theSkimm | Image: W&P, Folmarstreet via Etsy
Nov 2, 2022

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Throwing a holiday party means prepping the food and decor, making your space more inviting, and chatting with all your guests to ensure everyone’s comfortable and enjoying themselves. A tall order for sure — but hosting doesn’t need to be synonymous with headache. We’ve rounded up products that’ll help take the stress outta organizing your get-together, from holiday party games to tools that’ll make dinner prep easier and so much more. 

A diffuser that’ll fill your home with holiday scents…

Like pumpkin chai and simmered cider. Each of these fragrances are safe and clean — aka they’re made without harsh chemicals like phthalates or parabens and no harmful testing processes. The dispenser itself can be controlled through the Pura app and is compatible with Alexa. You can set custom scent schedules, adjust your fragrance intensity, set the away mode to automatically shut it off, and even swap between two scents at the same time. ($44, Pura

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A countertop oven that’s a great option for small kitchens…

This thing can roast a 20-pound turkey, cook a 14-inch pizza, and even bake homemade bread. It’ll be the key to perfectly prepared meals, as long as you can monitor it. The appliance has a temperature selector that’ll control the heat on the upper and lower racks separately, so you can cook two different foods at the same time. Plus, there’s an automatic shutoff feature. Dinner-prep goals: activated. ($81, Amazon)

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Plates that you can reuse next Thanksgiving too…

They come in a pack of 24 and are decorated with lil’ pumpkins around the rim. Customers say that they’re super sturdy, easy to clean, and durable enough to last untlil the next holiday season. BRB, adding to cart. ($18.99, Amazon)

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A fun guessing game you can play at the table…

While this is traditionally used as a bridal shower game, it’s just as fun with a big group at any get-together. It’s a fun way for guests to mingle and get to know each other. Psst…we rec asking everyone to answer the questions at the same time and giving the winner a little party favor for their efforts. ($3.85, SayIDoPrintables via Etsy)

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Place settings that double as party favors…

These handcrafted pumpkins are made from solid foam, and you can choose the ink color and customize the names. Use them around the table and then have your guests take theirs home to remember the occasion. Note that the shop requires a minimum of three pumpkins in every order. ($11/each, Folmarstreet via Etsy)

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A smart thermometer that’ll get it right every time…

Use it on the grill, stovetop, or in the oven and take advantage of the preset programs for fish, meat, and poultry. All you’ve gotta do is connect it with the app, select your protein and doneness, and sit back and relax. No complaints about dry turkey here. ($99.99, Yummly)

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Wineglass charms so everyone can keep tabs on their drink…

It’s a classic party scene: The night is two pours in and nobody knows which glass is theirs anymore. These markers to the rescue. This pack comes with 48 different colored silicone rings that’ll fit perfectly around the stem of any wineglass or the rim of any cocktail glass. And while you’re at it, snag this stain remover to keep handy in case of a red wine spill. Cheers to that. ($9.99, Amazon)

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An automatic pot stirrer for when you’re got tons of sides to prep…

Look ma, no hands. We won’t be surprised if this becomes your go-to kitchen utensil when cooking for bigger get-togethers — or you’ve got an easy stir recipe on your hands. If you have multiple things to chop, peel, and stir, and only one set of hands, this handy tool to the rescue. Just toss the stirrer in with any simmering or low-heat liquid, set the timer, and be on your way. Sounds like our kind of sous chef. ($25, Uncommon Goods)

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Butcher paper that makes cleanup easy…

Cut a couple strips of this butcher paper and use it as a makeshift table cover for bigger gatherings, charcuterie arrangements, or to easily clean up the kids’ table. It comes in brown and sand, and is made from completely natural material that’s unbleached, unwaxed, and uncoated. Pro tip: If you’ve got any left over, use it for any holiday gift wrapping you need to tackle. ($15.29, Amazon)

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Easy holiday decor that’ll complete any room…

Want your space to look like it took you all afternoon to decorate but don’t actually have all afternoon? Snag this pre-lit, 9-foot-long garland, which comes studded with 100 warm white LED lights, red and gold shatterproof ornaments, and traditional red amaryllis blooms. Place it above your mantel or on your dining room table, or hang a few around the room for an instant holiday glow-up. Psst…Watch the recording of our Party Like a Pro event for more budget-friendly party hacks. If you attended live, check your inbox for your exclusive membership offer from Sam’s Club. ($49.98, Sam’s Club)

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A craft cocktail set with all the favorites…

Spicy margs, Moscow mules, and old fashioneds are just a mix and a shake away thanks to this mini-syrup trio with classic flavors. These small-batch syrups will be a hit at any holiday party — all you have to do is add the hard stuff (or mix in seltzer or your fave non-alcoholic bev instead). Psst…use code SKIMM15 for 15% off sitewide. ($20, W&P)

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A countertop ice maker to keep the drinks flowing…

Any good party host knows that you can never have enough ice at the function. This self-cleaning, portable ice maker delivers nine bullet-shaped ice cubes every six to eight minutes. All you’ve gotta do is keep an eye on the water line and scoop, scoop, scoop. ($59.99, Amazon)

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An extra-large cheese board for extra-large gatherings…

The XXL size can fit enough to serve more than 30 people. Each board is handmade, crafted from rustic barnwood, professionally finished and sealed with food-safe oil, and comes laser engraved with a name or the initials of your choice. And you can add cheese labels to your order — brie, cheddar, jack, bleu, Gouda, Gruyere, goat, and Swiss. Charcuterie for days? Sign us up. ($12+, EstesDesignStudio via Etsy)

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Sustainably sourced meat and seafood delivered right to your door…

If you’re planning a meal for a big group and wanna skip the supermarket schlep, Rastelli’s is a one-stop shop for quality cuts of meat, burgers, seafood, and more. From filet mignon to boneless chicken breasts to crabcakes, everything the brand sources is antibiotic- steroid-, and hormone-free, and all seafood is wild-caught or sustainably raised in the wild. So whether you’ve got pork chops or steak on the menu, you’ll be able to find options that are shipped fresh and individually portioned for easy prep. Let’s go, grillmaster. ($14+, Rastelli’s)

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An 8-pack of individual cheesecake cups in three different flavors…

Because maybe you’ve spent enough time in the kitchen prepping mains and sides. These crowd-pleasing mini New York cheesecakes have rave reviews. They’re made with real cream cheese and come with caramel brownie, mixed berry, and turtle flavors in every order. Time to make room for dessert. Psst…Watch the recording of our Party Like a Pro event for more budget-friendly party hacks. If you attended live, check your inbox for your exclusive membership offer from Sam’s Club. ($16.98/8 pack, Sam’s Club)

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A triple-threat slow cooker for all your sides and sauces…

Use this triple slow cooker to make sure your mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole all finish cooking at the same time. The three dishes are made from ceramic and can each hold up to 2.5 quarts. Plus, they’ve all got separate heat settings, so whether you’re cooking or warming something up, you can do everything simultaneously. Forks up. ($52, Home Depot)

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