Entertaining around the holidays can be the perfect excuse to reconnect with friends near and far. In an effort to arm you with a few fresh ideas this year, we polled our wonderful Neighborhood Showroom Hosts to uncover their go-to holiday entertaining tips.
From Host Mary, Hingham, MA:
Every December, I make “simmering seasonal scents.” I simmer this concoction on my stove, and it’s a quick, easy, inexpensive and unique hostess gift as well. I package the ingredients into cello bags and stick the recipe and instructions in too.
Holiday Stovetop Potpourri Mix
- One whole orange
- ½ cup cranberries
- 1 tbsp. whole cloves
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- Grated nutmeg
Quarter the orange. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan. Fill pan with water and place on the stove over the smallest burner on the lowest setting. Refill water as needed.
From Host Candace and her friends, Kennesaw, GA:
This fun, festive cocktail stands out with its bright color and seasonal flavors. The recipe below makes a big batch, so it’s easy to portion out amongst guests.
Red Rooster Holiday Cocktail
- 1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
- 6 oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate defrosted
- 2 cups vodka (optional)
- Garnish with rosemary, sliced apples, fresh cranberries (or all 3!)
Mix all in a plastic container and freeze for a few hours. Serve as a slush.
From Host Marisa, Nashville, TN:
We like to divide our gift-giving for our kids into four categories. It keeps things simple and helps make the holiday feel even more special!
We give 4 gifts to each of our boys for the holidays:
- WANT (the gift they keep asking for)
- NEED (mamas choice!)
- WEAR (usually Christmas pajamas)
- READ (a new book)
In addition, my favorite decorating tip for the holidays is battery-operated candles for our front windows. They provide the perfect flickering light and you can “set & forget” because they're on a timer to run for 8 hours each night!
From Alyssa, Santa Monica, CA (Outer Employee):
Every year, my family and I host a white elephant party where all guests have to bring a gift under $30. The party is filled with laughs, gifts, drinks and snacks. How it works: each guest picks a number out of a hat (1 number per each guest at the party), which designates the order they’re allowed to pick a gift. The lowest goes first and any numbers after 1 are allowed to ‘steal’ an opened gift or open an unwrapped gift. Full instructions can be found here. Tip: wild, silly gifts add more laughs to the party!
From Ally, Burbank, CA (Outer Employee):
Hot Chocolate Bar: I serve hot chocolate in a large format and then add toppings in many different mason jars. It’s a great display and guests always have fun making their own. Toppings include:
Coarse sea salt
Mini chocolate chips
Soft peppermint sticks
From Anna, Burbank, CA (Outer Employee):
My go-to tip for the holidays is to give your loved ones donations in their names. There is zero waste and it spreads the love even further -- capturing the true spirit of the holidays!
One of the organizations near and dear to our hearts at Outer is The Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's ocean, waves and beaches, for all people.
For more of our best holiday gift ideas, check out our top picks for every outdoor enthusiast on your list.