How to host a holiday party
photo: iStock

Entertaining season is in full swing and with the holidays around the corner, Christmas parties, Hanukkah celebrations, and festive cocktails become the norm. Except if you are anything like me, you can lose your mind and become completely overwhelmed when entertaining for the masses. 

We've all been there, stressed, thinking that we don't have enough food, or that our drink options are too limited, or worst of all that our party is going to be disastrous. This is usually when an image of my mom pops up in my head, saying "Katy, you got this!" (in her fabulous Hispanic accent). Love her, but come on, this is coming from a lady who can whip up a five-course meal in her sleep. Not very convincing, but I can be rest assured about one thing my momma is always right about (here's where I insert her doing the happy dance as she reads this).

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So now, brace yourselves, I'm going to give you the ultimate secret to entertaining. The thing that every seasoned hostess knows all too well! Drum roll please, "Everything, and I mean everything, can be fixed. There's no such thing as a party fail!"

I know what you're thinking: Is this girl kidding me? But I promise I'm not. It's all a state of mind, and you know as much as I do that when we’re in the situation we lose all concept of reality. However, it is as easy as this.

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Food burns, undercooks, overcooks? Then order in. Cocktails run out? Enlist a trustworthy friend to pick some more up on the way over. Half your guests don’t show up? Then there's more to go around. For every possible outcome, there is a solution. It sounds cliché, I know, but it's simply true.

Hostess tip: Create a handy list of to dos and backup options. For example, if you are feeling nervous about not having enough alcoholic beverages, have the phone number of a local liquor store handy. Do your research. Delivers? Check. Stays open late? Check. This will allow you to feel organized and prepared. Call yourself the Olivia Pope of parties. Consider it handled! 

Sometimes the most ridiculous things make for the most successful parties. Case in point, the time I made an “oven-roasted” chicken, except I forgot to turn on the oven. Come to find out hours had gone by and the chicken, oh the chicken was completely raw. My friends and I had a big ol' laugh and had no choice but to go out. Yes, they made fun of me for years to come (they still love to remind me), but it made for a good story and I was teased all in good fun! 

So from this day forward and when the ugly thoughts creep in, because they will especially during a time when entertaining happens more often than not, let's put on our most fabulous outfit, have a plan A and B in order, and do what we do best: Host that party like we mean it! #winning 

As always keep celebrating, because in the end that’s what’s most important. 

Till next time! 



Kathleen Pagan is a Founding Creator and lifestyle blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala, you can find her at