When it comes to holiday hosting, things can quickly become overwhelming. Whether you're hosting an intimate holiday dinner for close friends or going all-out with a big festive celebration, there's a lot to think about: food, drinks, music, decorations, and of course, making sure everyone has a good time.
Andy Cohen, TV personality and father of two, is no stranger to the holiday chaos. But for Cohen, it's all about making things easier.
"Just keep it simple," Cohen tells The Spruce. "I think people put themselves through it, and they should give themselves a break."
Cohen, who's partnering with Amazon this holiday season, swears by Alexa for helping to keep things straightforward. "Alexa kind of helps anyone get their routine together," Cohen says. "I've got my Christmas tree, disco ball, music, and everything hooked into my Alexa. It's a total time saver so that when I walk in, I just say my prompt and I'm golden."
But that's not the only tip Cohen has for holiday hosting. We spoke to the Watch What Happens Live host and co-host of CNN's New Year's Eve countdown to find out what other tricks he has for making the holidays easier.
Simplify the Decorations
"I think people stress out about decorations—for me, it is all about the twinkly lights," Cohen says. He recommends getting a few strings of lights and arranging them simply, on a dining table or anywhere else you need a bit of sparkle.
"You don't even need to splay them in a creative way," he says. "They make people happy and they make everything cozy."
Buy Gifts in Bulk
Gifting can be one of the most difficult tasks around the holiday season, especially if you have lots of people on your list. But Cohen has an easy tip for making gifting easier.
"Sometimes, buying gifts in bulk really helps. You can buy all your friends the same things, like personalized stationery or a hoodie that you love," he says. "And I think if it's something you love, everyone else will love it too."
Stay True to Yourself
If maximalism is more your thing, and you love to decorate every corner of your home for the holidays, you should still embrace that—as long as it doesn't make the holidays more overwhelming for you.
Cohen notes how one of the Real Housewives does just that. "What I always love about Dorinda [Medley] is how much she loves Christmas," Cohen says. "If you look at what she does in the Berkshires—I mean it's a little unhinged—but it's also so fun and I think it's inspiring to really just go all out and see the response that it has in others when they come to visit. The message there is go all out and people love it."
Make Sure There Are Enough Drinks and Good Music
Cohen notes that often, people tend to go overboard and make too much food, resulting in too many leftovers the next day that they don't know what to do with. He says that you don't have to overdo it when it comes to hosting, and simply ensuring there are enough drinks and good music can be all you need to have a great holiday party—which he knows from experience.
"I think my holiday parties are proof that all you need is enough alcohol and a good crowd, and it's a great party," Cohen says. "I would say tequila, music, and good lighting is something that I never host without."