It’s that time of year again. The holidays are near and everyone is working on getting their homes ship shape for festivities. Whether you’re a low-key kind of house, or you go all out and invite everyone to party, you’re probably looking for tips and tricks to streamline your planning. The so-named “Queen of Christmas” Kathy Hilton has teamed up with Yelp to provide tips and tricks for holiday planning, from someone who knows how to throw a shindig. 

Hilton’s Tips for Hosting

Yelp

Not everyone has the budget of a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star like Hilton does, but that’s okay. There are tips and tricks contained within that everyone can appreciate. Hilton is known for her ability to throw lavish parties that bring out the joy in everyone, so her partnership with Yelp to share her favorite tips and tricks are an exciting glimpse behind the curtain that may help us all with our holiday party planning.

Here are some of Hilton’s best hosting tips:

  • Invest in a few great serving pieces: For some of us this may look like Dollar Store platters, but for Hilton it means antique silver serving dishes. Hilton suggests that people look at thrift stores, which often carry donated or discarded expensive servingware for cheap. 
  • Hire a bartender: Hilton explains that she has had her staff for years, but also turns to Yelp during the holidays when she needs a few extra hands on deck. Although a full service staff might not be in everyone’s budget, Hilton suggests hiring even one person can help lighten your load and free up your time for visiting guests instead of pouring drinks. Hilton looks for team players who can pour a mean martini and then set a beautiful table. Hilton suggests using Yelp’s Request a Quote feature to make sure you find someone within your budget, whatever that may be.
  • Always have a surprise: Everyone loves surprises, right? Hilton suggests having fun and adding an unexpected twist to your party, like the time she celebrated her first full RHOBH episode with a giant pizza from Big Mama and Papa’s Pizzaria. Hilton says a good idea is something that will help guests let their hair down, like a karaoke machine, a photographer to capture moments for everyone or a custom cake to make the night memorable.
  • Get yourself ready to be the optimal host: This may seem obvious, but Hilton’s on to something here. The Christmas guru suggests planning ahead and giving yourself extra time to decompress. So often, we run ourselves ragged right up until the party starts and then we’re too frazzled and worn thin to enjoy. It’s hard to make yourself a charming host when you feel like you’ve just run a marathon on a week of no sleep. So slow down, plan things out with room to spare, and if you’ve hired someone to help make sure you plan for them to come earlier than you think they need to. Hilton also suggests indulging in self care like having your hair and nails done to make sure you feel special and can help guests feel special too.

Since hosting is the lion’s share of what makes a party good, focus on making yourself relaxed and ready and create a party you can enjoy too. Whether your budget is $100 or $10,000, give yourself enough time to slow down and take it all in before the guests arrive. When you’re refreshed and ready, the smile on your face won’t feel so forced.

Making Your Home a Holiday Hotspot

Yelp

There’s more than just hosting though, decorating and thinking of what makes your house comfortable will be a big part of a successful holiday celebration as well. Here are some of Hilton’s tricks for preparing the house:

  • Add over-the-top decor: Hilton says that decor sets the tone for the party, and details matter. Yelp offers holiday decorating services and handyman services that can help you provide the perfect decor palette for your party, and Hilton recommends color-coordinating. Guests appreciate when it’s clear that thought has gone into bringing them joy and comfort.
  • Don’t forget the kids: If you have family guests coming, you want to make sure to look out for the littlest among you. Kids won’t be as impressed by elegant decorations and a champagne pyramid, so think of ways to keep them entertained. Hilton recommends going to a local arts and crafts store to pick up something to keep little ones entertained. Be mindful of the mess and indult involvement needed for the activities though, think simple. 
  • Support local small businesses: Not only does this help stimulate the local economy and help real families around you, it allows you to obtain unique services and products. If everyone can buy your decor at a box store, it’s might not have the wow factor of something custom made right in your hometown. Browse Yelp for local businesses in any price range that can bring you that special local touch your guests will love.

Best Businesses, According to Kathy

Yelp

Whether you’re creating a huge party for all of your friends or a more intimate family gathering, attention to detail and having the right services and products will insure success. If you know well enough in advance that you’ll be hosting, spread the cost out over time so you don’t have to feel harried in the run up to the event.

Hilton shares in a statement, “The holidays are my favorite time of year, where I get to spend time with my family and friends, and put on my hostess hat. During the holiday season, more than ever, I rely on my favorite local businesses to decorate my home, give me a helping hand when it comes to entertaining, and make sure I’m looking my best. Hiring a professional like an event planner or bartender is a big decision, and an investment, and Yelp makes it easy to not only find great service pros, but also to hire them and schedule their services.” 

Here are some of the businesses she recommends for the best party planning in Beverly Hills:

If you’re looking to host it up like Kathy Hilton and party like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, check out these tips and tricks and see where your imagination takes you.