Holiday Entertaining & Decor

Fun and beautiful ideas for making your house a cozy, welcoming home for the holidays


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Holiday Entertaining & Decor

Holiday Entertaining & Decor

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Growing gourds this season? Here's a clever way to put them to decorative use. | Via SouthernLiving.com

Follow our checklist to get your home ready to celebrate the Fourth in a safe, fun way.

This mason jar caddy with chalkboard labels makes for a charming way to present flatfare at outdoor parties. About $30 from Bed Bath & Beyond

Serve up a summer treat on this U.S.A.–shaped chopping block made from sustainable bamboo. Total Bamboo board, about $20; Bed Bath & Beyond

Let a grill cart do double duty as a beverage server. This painted wood one has a spot for towels and a spice rack for setting out garnishes. Prairie Leisure Design Barbecue Buddy, about $264; ATGStores.com

Add a little mood lighting to your July 4 festivities with this etched hurricane candle lantern. It's big enough to house a large pillar candle or a battery-operated version. | About $14 from The Home Depot.

Easy Party Appetizer: Beef Teriyaki Skewers

Party Menu Idea: Stuffed Potatoes

Party Menu Idea: Buffalo Chicken Skewers

NYE Appetizer Ideas: Brussels Sprout and Bacon Crostini

Crested-lark porcelain cups do double duty as decor when arranged on shelves. From @HM

This house is a re-creation of a riverside hotel that was torn down in the 1950s to make room for a gas station. To get all the detail, this artist used a band saw, a Dremel tool, and an X-Acto knife. | Created by Rebecca W. of Potsdam, NY.

TIP: If your appliance has a self-cleaning function, avoid using it right before making a major meal, as it can throw off the temperature gauge. And make sure the digital reading matches the cavity's actual temp with a tried-and-true analog oven thermometer.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio: The playroom tree with candles. | For a similar look, decorate your Christmas tree branches with unlit real candles or LED candles. Give a nod to past fire precautions by nestling an empty pail under the tree with the gifts

Big gatherings are a sign of the season, but with so many people in your home at once, a minor mishap can turn into chaos. Here's how to save your house from devolving into a disaster.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens: Decorative Pyramids: While the Christmas tree is also derived from German tradition, both the pyramid and the early Christmas tree were usually set on tables for display and were smaller than the ones we use today. | Photo: Courtesy of Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Rolled fondant was pressed onto a textured suface to mimic the pattern of siding and shutters. Powdered sugar was dusted over top. | Created for the The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.

Many historic properties ban live flowers and greenery indoors, lest they bring in pests or damaging moisture. If you don't want to go faux, keep plants away from paintings, carpets, and upholstered furniture. | Photo: Courtesy of Biltmore House

PREP your guest room for holiday visitors: (1) Install wall hooks for towels, travel kits, and tote bags. (2) Clear 3 feet of rod space in the closet. (3) Free up 4 feet of flat surface on a window seat or low bookshelf for easy suitcase access. (4) Add night lights to hallways and the guest bath. | Photo: Lew Robertson/Getty Images

Nothing says celebrate like a few wine-worthy carafes on display. From Crate and Barrel

Holidays: Funny Christmas Cards

Candles in the windows used to be a sign of your riches. This 18th-century tradition was associated with celebrations for the English king's birthday, and Colonial Williamsburg interpreters took inspiration from Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood for using the practice as a Christmas decoration.

This Christmas-themed cottage is made from gingerbread, icing, candy rocks, and ice cream cone pine trees. | Created by Mary E. of Timonium, MD.

Pineapple motifs: The popular 18th-century design motif—a symbol of hospitality found in architectural details, furniture, gardens, and more—becomes a standout centerpiece in holiday decorations. | Photo: Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

New Year's Eve Party Templates: Invitations, Wine Tags, and Food Flags!