Cooking Channel Talents' Top Do's and Don'ts for Holiday Entertaining


Do pay attention to our chefs and hosts' tips about getting through the holidays with as minimal stress as possible.


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Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Martin Laprise

Bobby Deen

A big don't is if you have a group of people coming over, you don't want to be trying a recipe for the first time. You want to try a recipe a few times in advance before it's important! Don't tinker with traditional recipes.  


And I think it's a good idea to put out different noshing foods in different parts of the house so that people can move about and they're not right up under you while you're trying to prepare the food. 

Tiffani Thiessen

I always put a timeline together so I hit those timelines right and I’m not stressed out doing everything last-minute.

Chuck Hughes

Stick to classics and stuff that reflects your personality and style of cooking. Don't keep everything until the last minute so you're cooking when your friends and family arrive. The worst thing to ruin your party is a stressed out, nervous, running-around host. That's my biggest pet peeve. Get yourself so prepared that you're 95 percent there when your friends arrive.

Roger Mooking

Don’t stress yourself out. I take a very simple approach to life. I hang around people I like, and I don’t hang around people that I don't like. So if it's a family event or a Christmas thing, if you know it's going to be a nightmare with "this cousin," then don't invite the cousin! People put themselves through all this drama. Don't create unnecessary stress for yourself.

G. Garvin

A grocery list keeps you organized, makes the best use of your time while at the grocery store and thirdly, and most important for most families, keeps you on budget. Rogue shopping is not good. And don't overextend yourself. Don't be too ambitious with the menu. You just can't do it all. 

Watch the Video: G's Holiday Entertaining Tips

Debi + Gabriele

(Gabriele) Keep your sink empty. By the time your guests arrive, your kitchen should be clean and your sink should be empty. We always make sure to have a drink together before the party starts. That's our private moment before the party starts, plus you're a glass ahead of everyone else!


(Debi) I always preset the table and get fresh flowers and get extra.


Mo Rocca

I would say the top do’s are definitely bring up religion and politics because it will keep things interesting.


Top don'ts are assigned seating. Because if you're going to be talking about religion and politics, who knows? You might want to think about where you want to sit.

Kelsey Nixon

Never make anything for the first time when you're hosting a party. Stick to what you know when it comes to entertaining people for the holidays. I think it's the best time to absolutely do use traditional family recipes –– those recipes that come from Grandma or your Great-Aunt Becky. Really embrace tradition, whether you love that cranberry salad with marshmallows and pineapple or not — we are making it! Really embrace tradition.