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Photo courtesy of Azure Furniture Company

5 Local Holiday Hosting Must-Haves

Take your next holiday get-together to another level with some Colorado-centric essentials sure to wow your guests.

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The holiday season means your schedule is packed with festive events and social gatherings. But if you’re stressing over how to make yours stand out from the rest (while staying sane), you can relax knowing that just a few key additions can enhance your party from an everyday affair to a must-attend event. Put an authentic, local spin on your next get-together with these all-important hosting accessories.

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Photo courtesy of Vital Industries

Define Your Table Setting

The nosh will rightfully take centerstage at every shared meal, but be sure to enhance those delectable dishes with the right stand-out kitchenware. A warm-hued, rustic piece, such as the walnut serving board by Denver’s Azure Furniture Company ($309; pictured at top) will catch the eye of your diners even before the charcuterie and cheese selections are served. The wood from each of the company’s furniture and houseware pieces are reclaimed from Colorado forests, hand-sanded and oiled for a smooth, food-safe presentation. It will create the perfect balance between homespun and sleek.

Beyond the edibles, your party’s drinkware will be carried by your guests throughout the night, so make them count. Jovially decorated glasses, like the gold-printed Cheers rocks tumblers from Vital Industries ($15), will upgrade any pumpkin-infused cocktail with a bit of added color. They can be shamelessly reused for upcoming Christmas and New Year’s dinners, too.

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Courtesy of Covenhoven

Set the Mood with Background Tunes

Before Christmas music season officially begins post-Turkey Day, set the mood with tracks that capture the best of Colorado’s laidback, nature-obsessed attitude. Covenhoven’s “The Wild and Free,” the latest release from Denver-based singer–songwriter Joel Van Horne, will create the richly ambient backdrop needed to put your guests at ease while sipping glasses of mulled wine. Plus, it’ll give you a go-to conversation starter and help you score a few cool points for being savvy to the local music scene.

P.S. Already craving holiday music? Look out for the Annie Booth Trio’s latest jazz-centric takes on holiday classics with the upcoming album, “Festive.” Led by Denver’s pianist–composer Annie Booth, the group’s nine-track release will add a fresh, bold twist on the homey festive ambience of any holiday gathering.

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Add Some Helping Hands

You can shell out for a sophisticated spread, the finest crystal glassware, and the latest home decor items, but if you expect to run the whole shindig yourself, you might not enjoy any of the glamor. Enter Party Host Helper, a new-to-Denver party staffing and service provider. Their expert planners can ensure your holiday get-together runs smoothly from start to finish. Whether you just need one person to help you in the kitchen or entire team to oversee your next blowout, you can request extra hands at a standard rate per person ($40 per hour) with no minimum or maximum required. The company’s vetted list of local helpers are prepared to coordinate with you before party time to make sure your vision is seamlessly carried out.

“Everyone’s out and about all the time these days, so people really like to be home for entertaining,” says Renee Patrone, CEO of Party Host Helpers and Events by Renee. “We started this company because we wanted the host to actually enjoy their own parties.”

Last-minute requests can be accommodated, but the Philadelphia-based company’s Colorado outpost already expects a busy holiday season (so the sooner you make reservations, the better).

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yu

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Courtesy of Hellimae’s

Finish With a Sweet Touch

It’s the small details that often leave a winning impression, and having some of Helliemae’s caramel goodies on hand this season will do the trick. These buttery beauts are handmade in small, four-pound batches right in the Denver area. Any of the six creamy flavors (chai, chili palmer, espresso, sea salt, vanilla, and whiskey love bomb) are sure to win over your guests as an after-dinner treat or parting gift, or share all six in the gift set variety pack ($50) if you need a go-to present when you’re a guest yourself. (Of course, we won’t judge if you stock up on a few flavors for yourself.)

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