20 Dec

Hosting Holiday Events in Your New Home

JSJ Builders

For homeowners who settled into a newly constructed home in 2023, this holiday season may be a bit overwhelming as the blend of excitement and trepidation merge. Yes, the idea of hosting friends and family for end-of-year celebrations sounds terrific–but where to begin? For some, decorations may even still be hidden in a stack of boxes yet to be unpacked. For others, familiar decoration is waiting for placement within a brand-new and unfamiliar floorplan.


New Home, New Possibilities! Typically, as seasonal decor is pulled from storage spaces, homeowners move on auto-pilot as they know exactly where each piece sits during the holiday season. For homeowners in a new home, that first celebration comes with a delightfully empty canvas.

  • Embrace all the nooks and crannies of your new home to display your favorite holiday decor.
  • Experiment with arrangements as your new space may call for a larger centerpiece or you may discover multiple options for a holiday tree.
  • Plan on spending a little more time than is typical unboxing holiday decor as, this year, the process may involve a lot more thought.
  • Be flexible on the use of your new space and know that baubles can be moved throughout the season until your desired vibe feels exactly right.

Transforming a new house into a home may be easier during the holiday season as familiar decor immediately puts a personalized stamp on each room. Not sure your current inventory will suffice? Focus on rooms that will handle the most traffic and make plans to stock up on new items after the holidays.


Planning ahead is always great advice and doing so when playing holiday host is no exception. Whether hosting a small dinner, opening doors to numerous visitors, or welcoming overnight guests, planning is the key to success.

  • For a smaller dinner party, consider seating arrangements and mingling options to make guests comfortable while waiting for mealtime. Plan to serve between 30 and 60 minutes after arrival to avoid delectable dishes from becoming lukewarm or overcooked while waiting for any stragglers. While guests wait to be seated, create sitting areas for catching up or for making new friends.
  • Hosting the entire neighborhood? This is a wonderful way to get to know your new community! An open-house style event is a great option as it allows guests to come and go at a variety of times. Prepare food that doesn’t have to be eaten straight from the oven and make use of crockpots (even by borrowing a few!). Map out the traffic flow from entry to a drink station and from a serving line to seating.
  • Anticipate items that overnight guests may forget and create a welcome basket for their quarters. Stock it full of pint-size toiletries, reading glasses, gloves, and even a cure for the inevitable holiday headache. Want to offer the gift of space? Add in a gift card for a local cafe or restaurant–a few hours “out,” your treat!

For those in dinner party mode, it is important to become familiar with that gorgeous new kitchen before hosting a large gathering. Have a few trial runs before your event to ensure you are comfortable with your appliances and the placement of plates or utensils. No time for practice? Don’t be afraid to engage a favorite local restaurant to alleviate unwanted stress. Many offer catering but you should order early!


Whether your guests are local or distant, watching them settle into your new home is a wonderful feeling. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when preparing for their arrival is that in visiting with you, they have left their own homes behind.

  • Create a welcoming touch by having some favorites on hand! Whether it is a specific drink, snack, candle scent, or table game, it takes very little to make guests feel loved.
  • Plan memorable events! A hike in the local state park offers a terrific opportunity for great conversation and amazing views. Try a tapas tour through town, stopping at a few different eateries for a small bite.
  • Tacky Light Tours never go out of style! In the days before guests arrive, map out a drive to experience the very best of the best twinkles in your area. Load the car with a picnic basket of gingerbread cookies, and a thermos full of hot cider, and then crank up the holiday tunes for a memorable evening!

Playing holiday host for the first time in a brand-new home is so exciting but it can also come with a sprinkling of uncertainty. While it is likely that you will be the only one to notice anything that goes awry, rest assured any hiccups will quickly turn into favorite memories. In the end, your guests will simply be thrilled to share this season with you, perfection or not. Embrace each moment as you revel in the creation of new traditions with those you love.


From the entire JSJ Builders’ family, Happy Holidays! 


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