with the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about that holiday party you’ve always wanted to host, but thought might be too much of a hassle. with these few simple tips, you will be ready to go in no time. you may even be looking forward to planning next year’s gathering by the time you’re done!
what’s the theme?
it’s important to establish a theme so you have a clear “look and feel” to follow as a guideline for décor, food and drink prep, etc. no need for hodgepodge and confusion, it just wastes time. pick something easy such as, “winter wonderland” and make it a monochromatic white theme. how easy was that?!
what type of party?
having an elegant holiday party can be easy, whether it be a sit-down dinner, buffet or cocktail party. sit-downs are most formal and labor intensive, so evaluate your “life load” before committing. too busy? start with a buffet or cocktail party. these kinds of events still pack a punch but are easier to prepare and execute. if you go with the buffet or simple cocktail party concept, you can easily have the dishes stacked and ready to go and place markers for all the food platters, or stock that new bar cart of yours with a few bottles, cute stir sticks, and don’t forget the ice bucket!
when, where, & who?
put a guest list together. if you haven’t decided how formal or casual you want the soiree to be, think about whom you want to invite. if it’s only a few people, you can do any of the above. if it’s a larger guest list and this is your first go at hosting, you may want to make your life easier and host a buffet dinner or cocktail party.
holiday season is busy and calendars fill up quickly with work parties, social engagements and family obligations. get your invites, whether hard invitations or electronic emails, out sooner rather than later. i suggest at least 4 weeks out (i’m serious.)!
asking for help?
if you can afford it, hire some help! if you cannot, ask a friend to manage beverages and another to oversee the food and restocking along the way. this way you can do a better job of greeting and mingling with your guests during the party.
are we having fun yet?
with advanced prep, you’ll have more time to relax before the big evening! make sure to create lists, such as items you need from the grocery store, try to setup the bar or place decorations a few days prior so you have less to do the day of. anything that requires assembly should certainly be done in advance so you’re not stuck fumbling through directions as guests start knocking on your door. and of course, make sure to have fun while playing host or hostess! isn’t that the reason you wanted to do this from the beginning?
good luck, happy holidays and lets get planning!