The holiday season is upon us! Between darling DIY gift swaps & celebrating the end of this year PLUS the upcoming new one (yay for fresh starts!), there’s no better time to cozy up with the people you love — even on *super* short notice. Since we’re all about making magic moments happen, we talked with Kate Arends, the founder behind lifestyle blog Wit & Delight and a total hostess with the mostest. We were thrilled when she shared a few secrets for entertaining spontaneous guests, including a go-to that might just blow your mind: boxed wine. Having college flashbacks? Scroll on for the four reasons Kate swears by it, and we bet you’ll totally be a convert.


1. You’ll be ready in minutes. Parties can be unpredictable, and Kate tells us that it’s important to make sure that you’re ready for anything — spills, recycling, trash, you name it. She says, “Every hostess benefits from having an emergency plan for entertaining on the fly! We keep Black Box wines in our house for just this occasion. For snacks, keep your pantry stocked with jars of olives, nuts, honey and crackers, with a nice block of cheese and good-quality sausage in the fridge.” Basically, be prepared to put a party together in five minutes.


2. You can ditch the glassware too. When you’ve got multiple guests, dealing with wine bottles and glasses can be less than awesome — especially with the breakage, spills and cleanup that can come with holiday cheer. To make boxed wine chic again, opt for one in a pretty package that can stay out on the table and snap up some cute recyclable glasses to match. Kate recommends, “Go for a box that’s the equivalent of four regular bottles and can stay fresh for weeks. It’s seriously perfect for entertaining a crowd, and I like knowing that anything left over will stay fresh on my kitchen counter.” We agree!


3. Your guests serve themselves more easily. Kate explains, “While the best recipes for hosting parties are ones that require minimal prep work, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring! Look for recipes using bright, colorful fruits and vegetables that allow for prep time well before you head to your location.” She also says that once you have your space ready, you should make sure your guests feel comfortable serving themselves — which will give you more time to mingle and tend to the food.


4. Simplicity will totally set the tone. “Food always looks great on white, and flowers are always a good idea,” Kate shares. “Even if you’re using paper plates and plastic cups with your box of wine, a nice tablecloth topped with a bouquet of flowers will show thought and make the party special.” We couldn’t agree more — it’s all about spending time together and making memories.

Do you drink boxed wine? Will you serve it during the holidays? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!

(Photos via Kate Arends/Wit + Delight)