How to throw a perfect holiday party

Throwing the perfect party works kind of like following a recipe. Yes, the process can be complex or even confusing. But with the right ingredients and small appliances, you can easily pull off a party that feels like perfectly-baked perfection.

To start off, I love choosing one element to focus your party on. For some people, that’s decor—especially during holidays like Halloween and Christmas. For others, perhaps it’s music (so key for New Year’s Eve). But my personal favourite element? Well, that’s easy: It’s food. No matter if I’m hosting a huge family Thanksgiving dinner or a small birthday brunch, my planning revolves around the tasty bites and plates we’re going to enjoy.

Kitchenaid food processor

1. Make food prep for your perfect holiday party easy

Get ready for your guests by starting food prep early and choosing dishes that are easy to bake in advance. For the perfect holiday party that you get to enjoy, too, I recommend choosing dishes like turkey, squash, lasagna, and cakes—things that aren’t finicky and don’t need a lot of last-minute attention right before they’re served.

I love small appliances that take the heavy lifting out of cooking, like food processors. Sure, food processors are great for really grinding your food up, but they’re also perfect for slicing veggies, crushing nuts, shredding cheese, and more.

Dinnerware for thanksgiving

2. Set the scene with great decorations and place settings

Create a sculpted tablescape with beautiful place settings, on-theme table cloths, and stunning holiday decor. As the weather gets colder, I love creating that cozy, warm feeling with rustic dinnerware and serveware. For Thanksgiving dinners and more, try opting for heavy dishes in warm tones like orange, bronze, and cranberry red.

JBL Party Box

3. Add music to every room 

Music is a great way to set the vibe of your party. From classic mixtapes to Spotify playlists, the right music can help you maintain the exact mood that you want your guests to enjoy.

I have a Sonos speaker system in my home, which plays high-quality music with perfect multi-room syncing between speakers. Sonos is a Wi-Fi-based setup (with the exception of the Roam), and I find that it’s particularly easy to use and control from my iPhone.

However, the Sonos system is a bit of an investment, and it doesn’t travel well. (It’s also next to impossible to control with a computer.) So, for a portable sound system that’s easy to move to the yard or poolside, I recommend portable Bluetooth speakers instead (Sonos has an outdoor speaker, too, in the Roam!) For larger gatherings, look for speakers that you can chain together to achieve surround sound.

Drinkmate holiday party

4. Enjoy a great bar setup for any holiday 

Prepare for your evening with whatever you and your guests will enjoy the most. From custom cocktails to canned beers, making sure the drinks are flowing will help keep the party going.

Reach for beautiful glassware, decanters, and more to create a bar setup that’ll more or less take care of itself.

I love a lazy bar setup when it comes to my perfect holiday parties. (What? I want to have a great time, too!) So, I always make sure to have a soda machine like the Drinkmate on hand. It’s so easy to create both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails when you can add a touch of carbonation to anything.

Hamilton Beach popcorn maker

5. Keep your perfect holiday party going with low-effort, fresh snacks 

Finally, make sure your party is as hands-off as possible by setting up early for your late-night snacks. Casual dinners with friends and family don’t necessarily need fancy hors d’oeuvres or canapés: They do just as well with bowls of chips, salsa, and popcorn.

Set up something like a popcorn maker before the party starts, then let your guests know what to expect. There’s nothing better than a late-night snack during a great party, and knowing where to grab another serving makes snacking easy and relaxed.

Shop small appliances for the perfect holiday party online at Best Buy.

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.