Tips for Hosting a Holiday Party

It’s the season for holiday parties! This is a time to catch up with neighbors and friends while celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. If you plan to have a party at your place, check out these helpful tips for hosting a holiday party.

Set the date

The first thing to do is set the date. Compare calendar dates with scheduled obligations and see what date works best for you. Make sure there are no conflicts for people you want to come to your party. Mark the date on a wall calendar or chalkboard. The calendar is a terrific place to stay organized and on track with what you need to do each day. Fill in the days with all the tasks you need to handle.

Send out your invitations

Create a list of people you want to invite. Double check your list. Decide if you want to mail invitations, email them or invite through social media. Design your invitations, signify an RSVP date and send the invitations at least 2 weeks prior to the event. Use a desk tray to keep tallies of responses and other notes related to the party. Keeping your papers all in one spot ensures that nothing gets lost.

Plan your menu

Are you serving appetizers, heavy food or just desserts? Regardless, appetizer plates are an ideal size for guests to nibble a little and mingle a lot. Sushi, vegetables, chicken wings, chicken kabobs and stuffed mushrooms are appetizers that are easy to pick up and eat while standing or sitting. If you prefer a champagne and chocolate-covered strawberry menu, be sure to have plenty of flutes on hand. Tie colored ribbon to the base of the flutes for a festive accent. Once you make your menu, make a grocery shopping list and do your shopping. Keep the list and date it for reference later on in case you host another similar party.

Decorate for the bash

Put a welcoming holiday wreath on your front door. Hang strings of lights along your stairwell, across the mantel and on any artificial trees in your home. Put them along the base or top of cabinets in the kitchen, around a bookcase or anywhere you want to add light. We have strands of lights that are tinsel designs, snowflakes, globes and boxwoods. Peruse the assortment and get what you need to add pizzazz to your party. Throw some holiday accent pillows on chairs and sofas. On the day of the party, you can put balloons on your mailbox to make it easier for guests to find your house. Keep a trash can and recycle bin at the back door for guests to toss their discards for easier cleanup after the party.

Cook, serve and relax

Get in the kitchen and get your menu items prepared. Enlist the help of friends and family, if needed. Buy store-bought, ready-made dishes if that is easier. Use platters to serve the food. By using large platters that hold a lot of food, you won’t have to replenish the platters as often. Enjoy your guests and make an effort to speak with each one of them. Refill wine glasses, top off drinks and be sure guests have what they need. At the end of the night, put the dishes in the dishwasher and prop up your feet to relax. Refer to your menu and guest lists and determine what worked and any thoughts you might want to remember. Some people actually keep a journal of party menus and guests lists for quick reference. Before long, you might be planning your next party.

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