Skip to main content

Party Ideas From Your (Antisocial) Holiday Hostess With the Mostest

I was just scheduling one of our dental patients for December 21st, our last day in the office for 2018, and said we'll see them next week, then thought that couldn't possibly be right. December 21st is next week?! Where the heck has my year gone?

I'd better publish this post before it turns into Merry Thanksgivmas.


SN and I hosted Thanksgiving in our new home this year. Despite all our antisocial impulses (we're essentially hermits), we had a blast! Bring on the socializing! 

modern alternative to deer head in mountain dream home
Actually, we did bring on the socializing with another small dinner party and overnight guests the very next weekend. And that was quite enough for these two introverts. No more socializing until next year, please.

We went even bigger and better than last year's Thanksgiving. We even had a seating chart! Martha Stewart would be so proud.

colorful invitation for thanksgiving
#1 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = adorable turkey invitations

I made these, and the other printables in this post, for free in Canva and emailed them to our guests. I've blacked out our personal information because I probably already overshare way too much personal stuff with you blog readers...like this.

I just searched my blog for "TMI" and expected to get 2 or 3 results. The scrolling went on forever.

thanksgiving menu to print
#2 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = elegant printed menus

This is a great way to hold your guests to their potluck dishes, rather than just crossing your fingers that 5 people aren't going to bring rolls. There was also a ham but it was a last minute addition that didn't make it onto the menu.

fun games to play at thanksgiving
#3 must-have item when hosting Thanksgiving = Thanksgiving Bingo cards because that's a real thing now

(Betcha didn't see this one coming.) 

thanksgiving home decor
See those cute pumpkin bowls at each place setting? I bought 16 of them just two days before Thanksgiving, along with lots of new forks, porcelain tasting spoons (!), dish towels, mini trifle glasses, potholders, and more. 

Word of warning - don't shop before hosting a party, not even online. It gets expensive very quickly.

No, really. I ordered all this stuff from Cost Plus World Market and when I went to pick up my order, multiple employees remarked that it was the big order. When they brought it up from the back, it was in TWO shopping carts.

unique home decorating ideas
 See those fresh-cut evergreen branches on the table? I gathered them from our 13 acre property the afternoon before and tucked those little Cuties mandarin oranges into them for extra color. 

I forgot all about the popcorn candle decor I made last year - whoops.

Our new house is perfect for hosting large parties. We've determined we can comfortably seat up to 28 people at 2 long tables in our living room. Dishes are no problem with our two dishwashers. 

white kitchen with brick backsplash and vaulted ceiling
Well, actually they are a teensie bit of a problem because both dishwashers suck. Everyone says to get a Bosch. Don't listen to them. We had a 20-year-old Whirlpool in our old house and it worked better than either of these. Things come out dirtier than they went in. My Bosch dishwasher review? THEY. SUCK.

Darn you, Bosch dishwashers.

But I'm getting off topic and out of the holiday spirit. It's not very hostess-like.

parents at thanksgiving dinner
SN's parents

table set with ceramic pumpkins from cost plus world market
My parents (on the right)

I'll have to have them pose for a better photo next year.

relatives talking during the holidays
See that shelf with the pumpkin in the background? SN finished building that the day before Thanksgiving, along with several other projects. Whew! 

crock pot mulled wine at thanksgiving
It looks like our Crock Pots of mulled wine and hot cider were a hit. 

stone fireplace in mountain home
The cranberries in each champagne flute were not a hit, although it was hilarious to watch one of our guests try to pour his out without anyone noticing. (We noticed. Hee, hee.) They were pretty. 

Plus, I still have so many bags of cranberries to use up from my shopping spree last year.

thanksgiving tablescape
My dad with a big plate of dessert because diabetes and a recent near-death heart attack don't count on Thanksgiving.

*rolls eyes

how to seat a crowd for thanksgiving
He's going back for seconds of dessert! Ack! 

bar cart set up for thanksgiving entertaining
Off in the distance is a bar cart, which we hope to have replaced with a cabinet and countertop by next Thanksgiving. Or maybe a china hutch to store my 16 ceramic pumpkin bowls.   

OMG, I just checked the Cost Plus World Market site and they have 5 ceramic pumpkins left, insanely marked down because it's December. Make that 21 ceramic pumpkin bowls.

warm wood ceiling
Our little Pica puppy has really slowed down in her old age. Despite all the commotion (or perhaps as a result of it), she conked out right in the middle of the room for a long nap right after this photo was taken.   

every holiday needs sparkling cider
What is everyone looking at?? 

Entertaining Tip: Rather than throwing money away on fresh flowers, decorate with potted edible flowers, like pansies, and herbs. You can use them to make your food extra-special (aren't all desserts better when topped with a sprig of mint?) and can place them in containers that match your decor. Plus, you can buy them well in advance of your event. Weeks after the party, mine are still going strong.

dessert table set for thanksgiving
There was a dessert buffet featuring assorted pies, puddings, cakes, and homemade candy. Around the corner was a decaf coffee bar. Everything ended up drizzled with DIY salted caramel sauce (with just a hint of crushed red pepper)(!) because DIY salted caramel sauce is amazing.

Today alone, I've added it to coffee, an English muffin, and sweet potato fries. 

dessert menu for thanksgiving
I've never considered myself to be the crafty type, but making this was pretty fun. Does it still count as crafty if it's mostly on the computer?

dessert buffet and coffee bar
2019 = the new BEST Thanksgiving ever, so send me your genius ideas!

Update: 2019 was the WORST Thanksgiving ever...because it was canceled! (Also, I was super depressed. Did anyone notice?) Details here.

holiday entertaining ideas from your antisocial hostess with the mostess
Don't let this post die. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Pinterest and social media. Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

Cake Mix Pancakes

This reader-favorite recipe is *almost* as popular as my Cake Mix Cookie Bars recipe .  When making Cake Mix pancakes , the scrumptious possibilities are endless. Red Velvet cake mix pancakes. Chocolate cake mix pancakes. Butter Pecan cake mix pancakes. Funfetti cake mix pancakes. (Yes, Funfetti cake mix pancakes!) With this 2-ingredient recipe, you can turn your favorite cake mix into your favorite pancakes. Pancake making at its finest. Cake Mix Pancakes Personally, I think my funny napkin is the icing on the (pan)cake. It's Sunday morning and you're planning to do all the things today - scrub those grody baseboards, polish your quartz countertop that was supposed to be low maintenance but actually isn't at all, sort through the disaster that is the freezer.  While on your superhuman kick, you think I'm going to make my family pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes - the best pancakes ever. I may even serve them as breakfast in bed! You pu

Chemical Peel Before & After

This article has been updated! My new chemical peel post, which includes pricing, Jessner peel before and after photos, product recommendations, and a helpful timeline for scheduling your treatments, is at the bottom. My original Jessner peel post (one of the most popular on my site of all time) is at the beginning. Original Chemical Peel Article Considering a chemical peel? I recently underwent my first Jessner peel and thought I'd share my results, post a Jessner peel review, and answer some frequently asked chemical peel questions. (I'm guessing that "Does a chemical peel hurt?" is a biggie!) I'd been planning to order an over-the-counter peel when we were in Iceland , but my computer led me a different direction. I decided to do this on a whim after Groupon greeted me one morning with a great $40 chemical peel deal. Now, I can read your mind. You just gasped in horror and thought  You trusted your face to a  discount  chemical peel?!  You're wondering w

How to Move a Mattress

My site is popular for reviewing memory foam mattresses. With today's bed-in-a-box options lasting much longer than the traditional 7 years of a spring mattress, there's a good chance you'll eventually need to move one. But how? This is  how to move a mattress  without damaging it - even by yourself!  When we were faced with the challenge of moving our beloved Amerisleep AS3  to our new home, it seemed like my readers would enjoy the details. This handy tip should work for any memory foam bed, including Casper, Leesa, and Nectar.  I'm happy to report there is an extremely simple way to do it. Apartment and dorm dwellers rejoice! How to Move a Mattress At first, I wasn't sure how to move our king-size mattress down a flight of stairs. It's a problem we've dreaded solving ever since we made the decision to build a new house.  The answer? It was right in the back of our truck.  Ratchet straps . This solution could also serve as a 'How To' for returning

10 Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks

You're in for a treat. Today I'm sharing my best canned cinnamon roll hacks and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury Grands ones or even the store brand, into something special.  Dry cinnamon rolls? No thank you. They need to be OOEY and GOOEY. That's just Cinnamon Roll 101. All of these ideas keep Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls soft, company-worthy, and delicious. These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch, but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again. Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that. Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks Actually, make that 11 easy ways to improve store-bought cinnamon rolls: you can top them with homemade coffee whipped cream . Yum! Nope, make that 12 canned cinnam

Hello Fresh Complaints

Hello, my bloggy friends. I have a HelloFresh complaint and believe they are pulling a scam. Yours truly came *this close* to falling for it.  Maybe scam is too harsh of a word. Sneaky? You can decide for yourself. The fact that there are so many Hello Fresh complaints online does seem suspicious. My main complaint about Hello Fresh has to do with their promotional rate, which seems like it is set up to be intentionally misleading (more on this below). Despite so many people complaining about being charged more than they thought they'd agreed to, Hello Fresh maintains this as part of their business model and continues to mislead. So it's intentional, right? I do not recommend Hello Fresh. For starters, the service is just ingredients-by-mail with recipes, not meals. You can buy your own ingredients for much less, especially now that most grocery stores conveniently offer pickup and delivery. Excellent recipes are easy to find.  Click here for a list of top-rated, reader-favorit

3 Minute Toaster/Convection Oven Smores

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos (something I have never  done), they're quite healthy. What's that, you say? You already know how to make s'mores in the toaster oven? Well then, sit back and enjoy the ooey-gooey marshmallowy photos. (And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)  Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.   Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker (I'm not much of a peanut butter fan - WHAT?!? - so I skip this step.) Cover with yummy marshmallows. Top with chocolate chips. Place in the toaster o

Sending NAKED Emails

Although SN and I started out in a long-distance relationship, with me in New Mexico and him in Michigan, drinking that famous Flint water, we haven't spent much time apart since before our wedding 6 years ago, when I took a family reunion trip to the Seychelles and Paris without him. (He "had to work", but I think the idea of 3 weeks nonstop with my mom terrified him. To be fair, it was pretty scary!) Now, he has been gone on a business trip for nearly 2 weeks and I'm kinda starting to miss him. He says he misses me too. So, I decided to have some fun and send him the following email: Subject: Here are some NAKED photos for you Message: Be sure to delete these after you look at them. The photos, one titled "hubba hubba" and the other "you know you love it": "I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it." "I'm sexy and I know it." Yep, that is a 100% collar-free, naked Pica . Sexy Nerd&#

Dental Memes

As the manager of two successful dental offices, my favorite memes are ones I can share with my dentistry dream team.  Happy Team = Living the Dream! You don't have to work in dentistry to enjoy these. After all, everyone is a dental patient. You have visited the dentist within at least the year...right? (No guilt if you haven't! I've scheduled patients who haven't seen a dentist since the 1970s. Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental administrators have seen it all. We love this field because we love helping our patients. It's never too late to get back on track!) Funny Memes for Dentists Reminder: National Dentist's Appreciation Day is March 6th! Funny Memes for Dental Hygienists Reminder: National Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of April! Funny Memes for Dental Assistants Reminder: National Dental Assistant Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of March! Funny Memes for Dental Office Administrators Reminder: Ad

Window Seat Idea - Dream Home Inspiration of the Day

See it? Waaay at the back of the photo?  I like how the window seat extends past the window all the way to the wall. How about you? If that's not your style, how about one of these lovely window seats? I'll seat you, my pretty, and your little dog too. How perfect would this be in a home office? I'd swap out that wimpy rug with a larger one.

Anonymous Flower Delivery

Anonymous Flower Delivery Sexy Nerd and I came home from a day of running errands on Saturday to discover an odd message on my phone. It was a girl from a flower shop calling to confirm my address for a delivery.  I called and said there must be a mistake, as I wasn't expecting any flowers, to which she pointed out that people don't usually expect flowers. Oh, of course.  As nice as it would be to have someone send me flowers, it seemed unlikely. Sure enough, she was unable to find any orders for me when I gave my name. She did have a Danielle though, and asked if there might be a different last name. I told her my maiden name. There really were flowers waiting for me!  She confirmed the delivery address - the rental house Sexy Nerd and I lived in 3 years ago. I updated my address and ended the call, anxiously waiting to see who would send me flowers. Who sent me flowers from FTD? My mysterious stalker has beautiful taste! Strange? I had no idea how str