Home for the Holidays: Preparing for your Celebration

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Some of your friends or family might be back in New Jersey for the first time in a while. Planning a holiday get together is a great way to showcase your apartment rental to friends who have not been in the area in a while. Whether you are planning on having people over for a festive celebration, or a more modest one, the tips below can help you learn how to prepare ahead of time.

Deck Your Halls Ahead of Time

Deck Your Halls

Give yourself some time to renew and refresh your apartment décor for the holidays. Create a to-do list approximately two weeks before your gathering to see what holiday decorations, food/beverages, and housewares you will need. Ensure that you have enough places for your guests to have a seat and arrange your furniture for socializing. If you plan on serving wine, choose red over white because so you won’t have to chill it. Plan on having a coat rack in an unused room since the temperature outside will most likely warrant at least a light jacket. Also, create a playlist ahead of time to set the mood for your festive gathering!

12 Days of Appetizers


Have your guests bring an appetizer of their choice to ensure a smorgasbord of food options. Hosting a potluck is a great way to let others bring foods they enjoy, while at the same time allow for you to enjoy your company. This also ensures that there will be something for everyone, regardless of what someone’s dietary restrictions might be.

If you are sending out invitations, include a checkbox of items that you need on your invitations. If you plan on doing a Facebook invite, have your guests comment with what they will bring. You can also categorize what people should bring by first letter of their last name. You can have guests with letters A to L bring appetizer, while you can have guests with letters M to Z bring desserts.

Set up your food buffet-style in your kitchen. This will allow for your guests to pick from what they like without having to pass items across the table throughout the party. Ensure that you have burners and warming trays for items that will be served warm.

Be Mindful of Your Neighbors

Be Mindful of Your Neighbors

While singing your favorite holiday tune might be great entertainment for those at your party, your neighbors may not appreciate your singing. Be considerate of those around you. Make sure that your music source is away from any walls you share with your neighbor and keep your noise down if your gathering lingers into the night. Let your neighbors know that you are planning on having some friends and family over to alleviate some potential problems you may have.   

Enjoy Your Gathering


Remember that you are there to celebrate the holidays with them! Have everything handy that you will need and remember where you put it. Clearly label food before it is time to serve them so that way you can enjoy it with your guests. If you plan on serving beverages, leave them out and invite people to serve themselves, so that way you are not playing the role of bartender.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Garden Communities!