Ahhh…. the holidays! It is time for mistletoe, eggnog, cozy sweaters, sparkly dresses and PARTIES! I love the thousand excuses that the holidays give us for celebrating. Basically from October til February it is party central in my brain.
There is no end to the different types of parties that are thrown during the holidays. And, whether you are having a cookie exchange or an elegant cocktail party there are a few simple tips that can make hosting a holiday party less stressful and much more fun. The following tips are items I try to keep in mind when hosting events during the holidays.
1. Schedule well— Yes, the holidays are the time for parties…. which means that your guests will probably have other holiday parties to attend as well. You might have a few to attend yourself. I had a couple of good friends plan a holiday party (and invite people) just to find out that one of them had a company holiday party to attend. You don’t need to plan your event around everyone’s schedules (but, you might wanna check your calendar first) but, there are a few simple things that can ensure you and your guests a less stressful event.
Plan in advance…. like WAY in advance. Give a lot of notice and a few reminders if you know you want to have an event. Send out invitations at least 3 weeks early if possible.
Plan the event at a day and time that will be more accessible to your guests. There are going to be a ton of holiday events on the Friday and Saturday evenings in the month of December. If your event lends itself to a different time or day, try an afternoon party or a fun happy hour type event on a weekday. Or, set up an open house so that people can come and go as needed.
I used the white christmas lights and garland throughout my partyscape!
2. Use your holiday decorations in your party decor! No one wants to take down an entire Christmas tree and all the trimmings because it doesn’t exactly fit with their party theme. And, many venues will have holiday decorations up. Work with it! All the baubles and decor items that are already up can actually help save you a buck or two on the overall party while still keeping the mood festive. Move items around and restyle them to make the space extra special.
3. Limit Yourself! It is easy to go overboard with any party, but especially holiday parties… I make myself set a strict budget and limit myself on the “projects” I am doing for the party. A few ways to limit yourself and still have a successful holiday party include:
Do signature drinks! Instead of having a full bar or a crazy array of beverages choose one to two specialty drinks and serve with water and another popular non-alcoholic option. This is for parties with or without alchohol…. there are a lot of fun non-alcoholic specialty beverages that can be made into a delicious signature drink. Not only will you save a lot of money on beverages if you do signature holiday drinks, but you can also have some fun and make the drinks truly memorable. One of my favorite signature drinks that I’ve made in the past are the “Bubble Machine” and “Ginger Jenni” drinks I made for last year’s birthday celebration.
Only make a couple of food items… I am such a fan of homemade food for parties. But, spending two days in the kitchen is certainly not stress-free. If I am having an at-home holiday party I either buy at least half of my food pre-made (cheese, veggie, fruit trays are awesome for this– just take out and put on a different platter!) or ask a few guests to bring items. Having the holiday party in a restaurant? No worries! Let the restaurant do the work for you!
Limit myself to three DIY projects. This is the hardest part for me because I love putting DIY details into an event. Typically, I choose to DIY some paper printables for the party, a favor, and a centerpiece item. I always want to also DIY my outfit, all the party decor, and the food and drinks… but, then I go crazy.
I hope these tips will help you in planning your holiday event.