As far as I’m concerned, there are three types of holiday hosts:
- The “Stop By Anytime!” Host: Either a seasoned veteran or a relaxed person to begin with.
- The “What Did I Get Myself Into?” Host: Completely overwhelmed. Has considered canceling the get-together entirely.
- The “Please Remove Your Shoes Immediately” Host: The quintessential neat freak. Has fever dreams that guests will track dirt onto her new rug.
I obviously identify as Option B and C, as does Joanna.
The good news is we’ve learned you don’t have to be a professional event planner or a completely relaxed person to prepare and host a great party for your guests. It all comes down to working smarter — not harder. Trust us, we are really good at it.
The easiest way to do this is taking advantage of online shopping. It helps my stress levels tremendously because I’m able to order the items I need online and clean the guest bathroom, all in the time it would take to drive to the store and find a parking spot.
It also matters where you shop online. Instead of ordering from multiple stores, stick to a one-stop shop that provides most of what you need. This helps avoid any confusion and the potential of forgetting an item. This year, eBay was my best bet because home appliances and decor make up the majority of my list. Oh, and before you think I was buying used items, I wasn’t. These days, 81% of eBay’s merchandise is new and available with the “Buy It Now” option — and 69% of those items ship free. The site’s Home and Garden section is easy to navigate so I was able to quickly find the top-rated items in each category without having to click back and forth between tabs.
Considering I’ll be hosting adults and all of their children at my house, I thought the occasion called for a new vacuum. Let’s be honest: One of those kids will end up smuggling glitter in, whether by gift package, decorative headband, or some other means – and I’ll need to stop it in its tracks (the glitter, not the child). eBay carries Dyson, along with many other well-known appliance brands, and purchased the Dyson DC50 model vacuum because of its mobility, sleek design, and the fact it was 55% off retail price. (The deals are so good I feel like I actually stole it.)
Not to mention, it *actually* works when you need to clean-up remnants from your tree and ornaments (otherwise known as holiday glitter).
Scroll below to find the other items I purchased from eBay’s Home & Garden page to prepare for my guests and save my sanity:
1. Coasters: My mantra is “No more guests than available coasters.” Buy a few extra sets, just in case someone decides to double fist glasses of champagne.
2. Drop Spot: As soon as your guests walk in, you’ll want to designate a spot where they can store their shoes, coats, umbrellas, etc. The more obvious, the better. Look for storage solutions that include hooks and a spot for separate bins.
3. Ice Bucket: If you plan on hosting a lot of guests, it’s easier to create a DIY drink spot so guests can serve themselves when needed. Fill it up with beer, chilled wine, cocktail mixers, etc. Line with glassware and restock when necessary.
4. Speakers: Music is a must-have at any party. This two-room set from Sonos speakers pairs with Alexa voice control, which is always super helpful.
*This is a paid partnership with eBay; all opinions remain 100% our own