Last-Minute Entertaining Ideas For The Holidays

Taylor Starr
Last-Minute Entertaining Ideas For The Holidays
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From Last-Minute Gifting to Last-Minute Winter Getaways, StyleCaster brings you the best Last-Minute Entertaining tips and tricks to help you prepare for the very fast approaching [Well, who are we kidding? It’s already here] holiday season.

Sad that the holidays are coming to a close? Why not get in one last festivity by planning a party of your own. Of course, last minute party planning can be a stressful venture, but not if you’re equipped with the right resources. From mood-music to lights to ambiance-setting aromas, we’ve got the deets on products that’ll please every one of your guest’s five senses and make you a five-star host!

Budget strapped from all those gifts you just bought? Not to worry. You can pick up those extra cocktail plates and champagne flutes just by using accrued points. American Express recently launched Mobile Gift Cards, which lets you download gift cards instantly and use them right at the register at retailers like Potter Barn® and William-Sonoma. Every 2,500 points gets you $25 to cash in at any of the participating shops. You can also use points at Banana Republic, The Gap, and Old Navy so you can treat yourself to a new cocktail dress in the midst of all that party planning.

Holiday prep couldn’t be simpler!

For more information on our relationship with American Express: cmp.ly/3

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Planning to host a holiday party anytime soon? Click through the slideshow to see our last minute entertaining tips.

Your shin-dig deserves more dignity than a Facebook event invite, but then again, who has time to handwrite personal invitations this late in the game? Welcome to Paperless Post, our savior in time crunch moments like these. Fill out a chic, online invitation that’ll still give your guests that feeling of personal attention, while saving your hand the cramps. Guests can RSVP online, making your party planning all the more simplified. Paperless Post Invites; Price May Very; at paperlesspost.com

Take a cue from the ladies and gents across the pond and give your guests Christmas crackers as a fun, playful party favor. Set the table with these vintage-inspired handmade cracker that pop open to reveal a 2013 tag book calendar, a rubber stamp, a Christmas pencil and eraser, an old paper clamp and a scrabble magnet, and of course, confetti. P&C Christmas Cracker; $18; at etsy.com

Too stressed for time to get all your party guests an individual present? Simplify by giving them each their own American Express Gift Card from a huge list of retailers, hotels, and spas that can please everyone on your list! American Express Custom Gift Cards and eGift Cards; at membershiprewards.com

The last thing you should worry about on the day of the party is what you’ll be wearing. To look dapper without the extra effort, go for a revised, dark and dramatic take on the classic LBD. We’re head over heels for this lace and feminine piece with a presence fit for a host. Juicy Couture Long Sleeve Contrast Dress; $196.80; at bloomingdales.com

Make your party playlist beforehand to save yourself the timesuck of being DJ all night long. We recommend compiling a well-curated mixture of comforting classics like Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” and Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” with modern samplings such as “Winter Song” by Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, and “Little Saint Nick” by She & Him. She & Him “A Very She & Him Christmas”; $9.99; at itunes.com

Get one step closer to becoming a bonafide sommelier and a superstar host with this wine glass collection. This set of 12 glasses comes complete with the proper stemware for both red and white wines—whether it be Pinot Noir or Chardonnay—and champagne. Riedel Ouverture Wine Set; $79.95; at williams-sonoma.com; or use your Membership Rewards points to get an American Express Mobile Gift Card to use right at the register

Share the joy of instant gratification with your guests with this Polaroid 300 Instant Film Camera. Capture the event’s funniest, most charming moments and send them home as party favors and a reminder of your excellent party-throwing skills. Polaroid 300 Instant Film Camera; $69.99; at bestbuy.com

When creating the perfect ambiance, aroma is just as important as the visual aesthetic. Why not set the scene with a holiday themed scent? Bath and Body Works offers seasonal candles in flavors like Cinnamon & Clove Buds, Twisted Peppermint, Fresh Balsam and Winter Candy Apple. Our personal favorite is Vanilla Bean Noel, a warm, lingering scent that’ll guest’s swooning with sensory satisfaction. Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel 3-Wick Candle; $20; at bathandbodyworks.com

It’d be a sin to skip dessert, but you don’t have time or the patience to slave away over a homemade pie (we don’t blame you). Instead, offer up a tower of various treats in adorable holiday-themed shapes by gourmet brand Dean & Deluca. Holiday Cookie Tower; $48.75; at deandeluca.com

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