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Entertaining is a lot of pressure and it’s not for everyone. But, just like most things, there are ways to fake it–ways to make your guests think it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s what you were cut out to do. And, when it gets stressful after your guests have arrived, find the bathroom and have a pep talk with yourself in the mirror just like they do in the movies. Other than that life changing advice, we’ve pulled together our top 5 tips for you to have in your back pocket this holiday season.

1) Fresh fruit for my tablescape?

Yes. When you’re grabbing food at the grocery store for your gathering, add citrus (all shapes and sizes!), pomegranates or gourds to add to your tablescape for an immediate festive fix. Cutting the fruit in half will add even more color and make you a true stylist.

2) Lighting is everything (we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again).

If you go to Ikea and stock up on candles, you’ll probably only have to go once every five years. And, candles don’t need to be in a candle holder to have an impact on ambiance. Try getting various sizes to create a more dynamic tablescape or setting.

3) Simplify the setting and stash in your extra room.

Take 20 minutes to just move all your extra ‘stuff’ out of the way of your party. Even if it means shoving things into a closet and jamming the door shut (it’s just one night!). Chances are you’re putting on a good face for your party so your space needs to, too.

4) Don’t be afraid to embrace take out.

No one said just because you’re entertaining, you’re required to cook. You just need to commit to it—own it. Honestly, the classic chinese food take-out containers could add some personality and authenticity to your tablescape.

5) Party favors for a pick-me-up.

Don’t overthink this one. Find charm in timeless but accessible items that can add some quirk. Like a box of Cracker Jacks or even a set of sparklers for the guests to use after dinner.

Don’t forget to shop our curated collections of entertaining essentials at Havenly. 

Words by Gillian Grefe