[dropcap]The holidays are finally here, so put up the Christmas tree, deck the halls and start planning your festive celebrations with family and friends. It’s time to gather your favorite people together for a holiday party they’ll never forget. With our helpful party-hosting tips, your next get-together is sure to be stress-less![/dropcap]
Make a List and Check It Twice
The easiest way to be prepared for the holidays is to create to-do lists. Plan ahead and decide when to have the party, who to invite and what food and drinks to serve. Grab a calendar to make a detailed day-by-day schedule. Meticulous planning pays off.
Sending invitations creates excitement and anticipation. Design your invite to reflect the party’s theme. Choose an elegant invitation with gold or silver accents for a formal affair. Use bright colors for a festive bash. Make sure all of the pertinent party details are on the invite – when, where, what to wear, etc. Invitations also make fun little mementos for your guests to keep.
Prepare Food Ahead of Time
The hours leading up to your holiday celebration should not be spent frantically cooking food in the kitchen. Instead, look for easy-to-prep and delicious recipes, such as hardy quiches, stews or slow cooker meals. Prepare hors d’oeuvres in advance and simply arrange them on decorative serving trays just before guests arrive.
Create a Warm Welcome
Greet your guests with a gorgeous entryway. Style your front door with a wreath and other winter greenery. Use dazzling icicle lights to create a winder wonderland, or use cheerful, brightly colored lights for jolly celebrations. Consider adding balloons to your mailbox so guests know they’ve found the right house.
Pro tip: Clean out your coat closet or prepare a guest room for storing coats and purses.
Get a Drink Cart
Once guests have settled in, offer them something to drink. Set up a decorative drink cart for easy access to bubbly refreshments. Keep it stocked with a variety of liquors, mixers, wine and non-alcoholic choices. A drink cart will also keep guests out of the kitchen as you make any final food preparations.
Add Festive Decorations
It’s not really a holiday party without the decorations. Put up the Christmas tree, string the lights and hang the mistletoe and stockings. Add fragrant winter greenery and a glass bowl filled with shiny baubles to your table for a simple, yet stunning centerpiece. And let your personality shine! Hang all of our Star Trek ornaments on the tree or fill your mantel with your favorite ceramic Christmas village sets.
Select a Party Playlist
Don’t just turn on a random holiday playlist on your internet radio app. Create a custom mix of your favorite seasonal songs. Set it on shuffle and repeat so the tunes never stop during the party. Keep the music volume low so family and friends can talk with each other. If you’re hosting a dinner party, consider using instrumental music so everyone can focus on the conversation instead of song lyrics.
Avoid Cleaning During the Party
It’s OK to gather up plates and cups here and there to take to the kitchen. But don’t start washing those dishes while guests are still around. Constantly cleaning can kill a party and make partiers want to leave. Instead, leave the heavy-duty cleaning until after the party.
And Have Fun
Remember, you’re having a party to spend time with your favorite family and friends. Mingle and make memories. Play party games. Take cheesy pictures and laugh until you cry. And most important, share holiday happiness and joy with your loved ones. Because at the end of the night, it’s the treasured relationships with others that you’ll want to remember.