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How to Wow Guests This Holiday Season


(Family Features) The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to go all out for your guests. From decor tips to hosting secrets, it only takes a few special tweaks to make your party the talk of the season.

“Holiday entertaining all comes down to incorporating your personal touch within your space,” said decor and lifestyle expert Jillian Harris. “If your style is more casual, then a cocktail party may work best, or if you want to step it up a notch, a formal sit-down dinner is the answer. In the end, no matter what, if you put your stamp on the event, you’ll be sure to leave an impression.”

Put your own unique spin on this year’s holiday parties and decorations with these tips:

Small changes can make a big impact
Pick your favorite two or three rooms in your home and add a few key pieces to transform the space, while staying true to your budget. When in doubt, remember to focus on the high-traffic areas, such as the entryway, living area or dining room. And don’t forget the kitchen. With all the holiday cooking – and eating – that lies ahead, you’ll want to add some fun into one of the busiest rooms in the home.

Color bright
If you’re in love with one specific look or color, then commit to it and go all out. For example, decor from Pier 1 Imports’ Season’s Sparkle Collection looks stunning all on its own. Layer silver table linens with silver chargers, napkin rings, holiday accents and more to make a simple, yet elegant statement.

Themed Christmas trees
Themed trees are so fun and easy to pull off. Start by picking a core ornament that you love and get about 20 ornaments, depending on the size of your tree. Choose two or so accent ornaments and get 10 of one and five of the other. Finish with coordinating tree picks. And who says you have to stick with just one statement? Set up your main tree in a common space, and then keep guests guessing with smaller trees in unexpected places. You can still make a dramatic, seasonal impact in even the tiniest spaces with decor like the Pier 1 Imports’ Pre-Lit Half Tree, added Harris.

Let your party be a reflection of you
Prefer an intimate evening with your closest family or friends? Don’t be afraid to plan a sit-down dinner. A beautiful buffet will make the evening just a little less stressful. With the right decor and serving dishes, it’ll enhance even the most elegant affair.

If you prefer to mingle, and want to extend the invitation to a larger group, go for a come-and-go cocktail party. Start by ensuring that you have enough stemware for all of the guests, easy access to food on a variety of serving dishes and plates of festive appetizers for snacking. Then it’s time to have some fun at the bar. Make everything look super-special by investing in a glamorous tray, and don’t forget bar accessories. A cocktail shaker, ice bucket with tongs, festive towels, bottle opener and jigger are must-have pieces.

Set the mood with seasonal fragrances
No matter your party style, the perfect holiday candle, such as Apple Crisp, Holiday Forest or Silver Snow, all from Pier 1 Imports, will get guests into the holiday spirit as soon as they walk in the door.

Overall, find what speaks to you, and let that dictate how you move forward with the rest of your holiday decorating. For more ideas to glam up your home, visit www.pier1.com.

Sponsored by Pier 1 Imports