Dana Gallagher

Resy At Home

Martha Stewart’s Top 10 Commandments for Holiday Entertaining


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the dinner party you volunteered to organize, not to worry. To help out with holiday entertaining, we turned to the expert herself: Martha Stewart. Read on for the tips she swears by.

Martha’s Tips for Holiday Entertaining:

  1. Create a plan for holiday entertaining. Think about what you can prepare in advance and make a checklist of all the ingredients you need.
  2. For a harvest-themed centerpiece, fill a few glass bowls, vases, or hurricane lanterns with seasonal apples and pears in several varieties and shades, and set them down the length of the table.
  3. To make the dinner a bit more formal, add candlelight. Place tall tapers in candleholders between the fruit arrangements. Your guests will think you spent hours preparing.
  4. If you’re hosting a party and opening the invitation to children, make sure you have a designated activity area set up so they don’t get bored.
  5. Keep formal dishware pristine for many dinners to come: Avoid stacking dirty plates as you clear the table. Rinse the dishes as soon as possible after the meal, especially if you served acidic foods (which can damage the glaze and color), or coffee or tea (which can stain).
  6. Having more alcohol on hand than you may need is always a good idea — most guests will agree that nothing kills a party faster than running out of drinks.
  7. Before holiday gatherings, relocate your coats from the hall closet to a less central one so that guests will have a place to hang theirs.
  8. Take inventory of liquor-cabinet staples, including tonic water and other mixers, and restock those that are running low.
  9. Two sawhorses, an old table, and a pretty tablecloth are all you need to create a bar that is portable and can be put in a spot that’s easy for guests to reach.
  10. To keep leftover wine fresh, store it in a cool place and limit its contact with air. Refrigeration is a good idea — it will slow oxidation and curb the organisms that can spoil the wine. Use a wine stopper or re-insert the cork before storing.

An Extra Tip for Amex Card Members:

Need to stock up on bottles before your next gathering? American Express® Card Members can get $30 back in statement credits after spending $30+ at marthastewartwine.com/amex, up to three times, through 12/31/21. Terms apply.*

Enroll in Offer Now

Terms & Conditions

*Must first add offer to Card and then use same Card to redeem. Only U.S.-issued American Express® Cards are eligible. Limit 1 enrolled Card per Card Member across all American Express offer channels. Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. Offer valid online only at marthastewartwine.com/amex. Purchases must be completed by using the eligible link provided. Any purchases not made at marthastewartwine.com/amex will not qualify for this offer. Excludes purchases made at marthastewartwine.com. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer, voucher, or promotion code. If you enter a voucher redemption code or promo code at time of checkout, this offer will not be honored. See merchant website for shipping policy. Some merchants may not ship to all areas. Must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol, please drink responsibly. Please note that for subscription orders, that unless you notify MarthaStewartWine that you want to pause, cancel, or that you do not want to auto renew, your subscription will automatically renew for another subscription period (subject to applicable law) of equal length (for example monthly, or annually). This means that MarthaStewartWine will collect the then-applicable subscription fee and any taxes by charging a credit card MarthaStewartWine has on record for you without notifying you, unless notification is required by applicable law. Offer is non-transferable. Limit of 3 statement credits (total of $90 back) per Card Member. The enrolled Card account must not be cancelled or past due to receive statement credits. Any benefit earned from this offer is in addition to the rewards (i.e. Membership Rewards or cash back) earned as part of your existing Card benefits, but your ability to earn spend-based rewards for the purchase will be based on the amount after any statement credit or other discount is applied. Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 90 days after 12/31/2021, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information about your qualifying purchase from merchant until all items from your qualifying purchase have been provided/shipped by merchant. Statement credit may be reversed if qualifying purchase is returned/cancelled. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the statement credit. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you may not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it. By adding an offer to a Card, you agree that American Express may send you communications about the offer.