The holiday season is all about gathering with friends and family. From cookie parties to toasting the end of the year, there are endless options for entertaining in your home. The trick is to make it all look effortless. We’ve gathered some tips and ideas to help you do just that with your holiday parties this year.
Define Your Party Style
When you picture a party, what do you see? Some people like to do a full plated dinner and dessert, while others will prefer a less formal buffet style or heavy hors d’oeuvres. Don’t try and please everyone else. That will just add to the stress of the season! Throw the party that you have in mind. Not only will it be easier to visualize and bring to life, but you’ll have more fun doing it.
Make a List
Make a list of all the little details that will need to be taken care of. This includes everything from the invitations to the playlist. Parties are about all the small touches, so a list will keep you from feeling that you’re forgetting something. Some of the must haves for any party include:
- A great playlist
- A signature drink
- Beautifully ironed linens
- Shining silverware
- Formal invitations
- A beautiful centerpiece
- Plenty of ice
- Seating for everyone
- Party favors
- Plenty of candles
- A well stocked powder room
- Delicious food
Holiday Parties Without Stress
The time between October 31st and January 1st can be crazy. Not only is this a busy time for many at work and school, but this is the time when your social calendar fills up as well. There is a way to balance everything that has to be done and still be lighthearted.
The first thing that can make you crazy if you’re not strategic is the menu. Plan out everything you think you want to make and then add items you know your guests will love. At this point, you probably have a long list. Cross off things that people have allergies to or things that require a lot of preparation. Next, get rid of anything that will be hard to cook with the other items. Lastly, forgo a first course. Having appetizers as guests arrive will keep them satisfied and keep you out of the kitchen.
As far as decor goes, keep it simple and magical. You are throwing a holiday party, so you may include a holiday centerpiece and a few seasonal bouquets around the room. You don’t have to go overboard and string garland or hang snowflakes everywhere.
Spread Holiday Joy
Parties are a chance to network. Take some time to think about the people on your guest list and who could benefit from meeting whom. Decide on a talking point or key interest. When you see the people you want to connect in close proximity, drop the topic of conversation and let them get to know each other.
Another great way to make guests feel comfortable, especially if you have an open floor plan, is to let them help. Leave the little things for last. Get guests to help finish dips, make drinks, or adjust the iPod. With a common task at hand, people will come together and open up.
Enjoy the Holiday Season
Have fun this season. Remember, no one really remembers what they ate, they just remember how much fun they had. Host your perfect party. With proper planning you can create a truly magical night. Make sure you remember a thank you gift for the host! Click here for our list of holiday host and hostess gift ideas.