‘Tis the season for holiday parties. If you’re hosting a festive gathering, follow these five holiday party planning tips to ensure you and your guests have a jolly good time.
1. Plan the Menu
Hosting a holiday party doesn’t need to be complicated — the same goes for the menu. Go with easy appetizers as opposed to a full-blown meal, and count on most guests consuming about 12 appetizers per person. Avoid the temptation to overdo it — it’s not the end of the world if you run out. At the beginning of the party, set out the lighter snacks. Once you’re an hour in, bring out the heartier fare.
As for drinks, save yourself a lot of time and hassle and keep it simple. Think: Flavored sparkling water and warm apple cider. If you’re serving cocktails, make one that can be served in a large batch, such as sangria or a festive punch. You want to be able to actually speak with your guests, not play bartender all night!
2. Prep and Then Prep Some More
Planning ahead when hosting a holiday party will save you quite a few headaches later. Make a list a few days before outlining what you need to do beforehand.
When it comes to food, prep everything you can beforehand. Chop vegetables for your appetizer tray, set out drink ingredients, put out the flatware. Consider baking treats the day before, or even earlier in the week and freezing them. You’ll feel better knowing you won’t have to scramble when the doorbell rings.
3. Clean Smarter, not Harder
Housecleaning got you frazzled? Scale it back. It’s unlikely your guests will wander into your bedroom or that messy hall closet. Close doors and turn off the lights for off-limit rooms, and focus on cleaning the most high-traffic gathering areas, like the bathrooms, living and dining rooms.
What if you’re hosting a holiday party in a small space, like an apartment, and you’ve run out of storage space? Stash larger items in the shower, and no one will be the wiser. Only the nosiest guests are likely to pull back the shower curtain.
4. Find a Playlist
No party is complete without a soundtrack. Luckily, streaming services make it easy with ready-made options. Sample a few before the big day to find your favorite. And don’t forget to keep the volume low; guests should be able to hear each other speak. Another pro tip: During dinner, keep the tunes lyric-free. Conversation is easier when guests aren’t trying to name that tune!
5. Enjoy Yourself
Don’t stress if your party isn’t perfect. Your guests won’t remember if the pastry burned or you ran out of matching plates. The real point is enjoying time with your friends and family. After all, it’s the company that truly makes the party.
Enjoy a Stress-Free Holiday Season
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