You’ve made your guest list and sent out the invitations…and now it’s time to prepare to host the most epic holiday party ever. Whether you’re hosting the Christmas feast and inviting your extended family into your home or having a few close friends over for a pre-Christmas celebration, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. We’ve searched through blogs and magazines to find the best advice. Here are some great tips to ensure you have a party to remember!
“Check the basics in advance. It’s easy to get caught up in putting up decorations or shopping for gifts and then forget the essentials. A week or so before the guests arrive, check whether you have enough chairs, china, glasses and cutlery for all of them. Will they fit around the table, or should you put up a small temporary table too? Is there space in the fridge for the fresh food you plan to buy, or will you need guests to store and bring some of it themselves?” – Huffingtonpost.com
Make your list and check it twice!
“At least a day before, make a list and schedule of what needs to be made and when.” –MarthaStewart.com
Food & Drink
Hosting your entire family for the holidays can be overwhelming, so don’t forget to ask for help. If you have a really large family, assign different parts of the meal to different family members. There’s nothing wrong with a potluck! If you don’t want to give your family free reign, ask for specific items, i.e. “roasted carrots and brussel sprouts”, rather than “vegetable dish”.
“You’ll never run out of nibbles if you shop with the aim to entertain. Stock your pantry with a selection of cookies and crackers.” – HGTV.com
Create a self-serve bar. If you’re hosting a large group of people, set up a beverage bar with glasses, ice and a selection of drinks so guests can serve themselves for the most part. How about a hot chocolate bar!
“If you’ve decided to host a cocktail party, put together a list of the appetizers you’d like to serve. We suggest using recipes that can be made in advance, which will save you time and energy on the day of the party” – MarthaStewart.com
Decorating Your Home
What’s the first thing your guests are going to see when they arrive? Your front door and your foyer. Dress up the front of your home to give your guests a festive welcome to your party. If they’re arriving in the evening, make sure you turn the lights on.
Don’t leave your decorating until the last minute. Finish hanging wreaths and trimming the tree well in advance. On the day of your party, you’re probably not going to want to be putting Christmas lights up.
Think about how many people will be in your home and let that help you decide how many decorations to put up. If it’s going to be a full room, maybe scale it back to one Christmas tree this year. And the same goes for your table setting… leave lots of room for all the delicious food!
“Before you put the finishing touches on your table, try sitting down and testing the height of your centrepiece.” –GoodHousekeeping.co.uk
Getting Yourself Ready
“First and foremost, a successful dinner party needs a relaxed and welcoming hostess” – GoodHousekeeping.co.uk
As with most aspects of party planning, it’s a great idea to get your outfit (or outfits) figured out in advance. Decide what you’re going to wear and make sure you have plenty of time to ensure it’s washed/ dry-cleaned. Tip: don’t put your holiday outfit on until the last minute. You don’t want to spill any eggnog on yourself while you’re getting ready for your guests!
Give yourself some time before the party to relax. You’ve put a lot of hard work into planning this party, but don’t forget to enjoy it. Once your guests begin to arrive, stop and take a look around at all the special people in your life.