Hodgepodge

Your Stressless Holiday Party Planning Timeline

[dropcap]Holiday parties are always a blast, that’s why they never fail to create the cyclical challenge to live up to last year’s celebration. Even the trendsetters and craft masters have a hard time one-upping their 2012 plans. This year, try throwing your holiday party Stressless style.[/dropcap]

To Do Three Weeks Before Party

If you know you’ll be hosting a crowd, start stocking up on fun party items with a long shelf life such as old-fashioned sodas for the kids and gourmet coffee beans for the adults. The same thing can be done with party favors. Start by picking out a few items anyone will love such as decadent chocolates in holiday wrappings or your favorite red wine from a local shop. This will free up some time before the event and add unforgettable elements the day of.

You’ll need invitations and Stressless is all about going green. Save some time and a tree with e-invitations. There are hundreds of sites dedicated to creating the perfect online invitations that are equally as festive and effective. With a quick search you’re sure to find one you love. Customize it to your event to add that personal flair.

To Do One Week Before Party

Start decorating. Most homes are already decorated for the holidays, so keep your party décor simple and elegant. Holiday themed floral arrangements are a safe route. Try mixing bright flowers such as red roses or poinsettias with textures such as evergreens and pinecones. If you don’t have time to place an order with the florist, set candles in hurricanes and fill with frozen cranberries the day of the event. These quick ideas will look great with your holiday decorations already up.

Plan your menu and your bar. If you are hiring a caterer, make sure you pick some fan favorites that are good for crowds. Find items that have a rich warm feel for winter such as prime rib, twice baked potatoes and molten chocolate cakes. To add a personal touch and leave the crowd roaring, make one dish that’s a family secret or a signature cocktail just for your party.

To Do Day Of Party

Whether you’re serving a sit down dinner or light appetizers, create a beautiful dining area. A colorful tablecloth with metallic or beaded placemats below festive plates and serving dishes will help set the mood. For some final touches, add the centerpieces or floral arrangements and a few candles to brighten up the space.

Enjoy your company. Friends and family come to socialize and making memories together is what really matters. If you’re enjoying yourself, chances are everyone else is too. Moral of the story — don’t stress the small stuff and just have fun.