Party Host Essentials: Rachel Zoe’s Glam Must-Haves

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It’s no secret that the most festive time of the year also happens to be the most stressful: We’re talking miles-long shopping lists, endless post-work event hopping and of course, taking on party host duties. Luckily, we can help with that last bit. Here, we asked our Editor-in-Chief––who’s no stranger to the fine art of hosting––to share her tips for getting through the holiday season unscathed.

Tips And Tricks For Effortless Holiday Entertaining

Festive In A Snap

“There’s nothing like gathering pinecones and dried Oak leaves from your backyard to give just about any surface a festive touch. It’s such a fun and easy DIY that you can even get the kids involved. For the dinner table, my mom taught me to set out a row of votive candles along the center, mixed with tiny bud vases which I fill with roses or tulips.”

Candy As Décor

“For Kaius's birthday we used candy to complete the party décor. I love the idea of setting out pretty dishes of sweets to dress up a mantle or side table.”

Keep Guests Comfy

“To keep overnight guests cozy and comfortable I always keep yummy robes, delicious diffusers and cozy throws in the bedrooms in case it gets cold. Stocking the bathrooms with fresh shower gels and pretty candles is always a nice touch too.”

Fun & Games

“I like to set out a ton of classic wooden games like checker boards, backgammon sets and blocks to keep kids entertained without compromising décor.”

Flower Power

“If I don’t have time to pick up a gorgeous arrangement from Eric Buterbaugh, I like to buy orchids from the farmers market and place them all over the house. As for centerpieces, I love peonies and hydrangeas but they tend to die pretty quickly, so for the holidays I go for Lysianthus, which can last up to 10 days if you refresh the water daily and add a copper penny.”

Good Service

“I keep lots of beautiful, disposable bamboo serving plates and utensils on hand—they look super chic but still functional––in addition to my collection of cheese trays and platters. You just never know when you’ll need to throw together a gorgeous cheese plate so it’s nice to be prepared.”

Snack Attack

“I always stock up on super decorative snacks like nuts, olives, grapes and pears so that I can craft a beautiful cheese plate in case I have last-minute guests. I always make sure to stock the pantry with non-perishable, organic snacks like kettle corn and dried fruit as well as gluten, dairy and nut-free options for friends with allergies. And it’s always nice to have ice cream in the freezer in case someone brings over a pie so you can easily make it a la mode—Sprinkles is my absolute favorite.”

Imbibe In Style

“You never know when a intimate gathering will become a party so I always keep champagne and both red and white wine around. Plus, you can easily wrap them up as gifts in a pinch."

Last-Minute Gifting

“People don’t always think to buy serving accessories for themselves which is why I always have Fornasetti platters and my exclusive Oscar de la Renta carafe set on hand for last-minute gifting. You can honestly never have enough.”

Best Seat In The House

"To make sure there's always extra seating I outfit the living room with plush floor pillows and comfy ottomans."

Dress To Impress

“A tiara or bejeweled headband is a great way to keep hair back when you’re cooking. As for a go-to hostess dress, my cross-front maxi dress is super comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. Just pair with a gorgeous cuff and you’re good to go.”