Holiday Party Hosting Tips

Winter Traditional Holiday Centerpiece by (CC BY 2.0)

This is the year!  You’ve finally decided to host your very own holiday party. While you’ve been to enough holiday gatherings to know what not to do, it can be overwhelming to think of all the preparation you need to do for your soiree. Not to worry, keep in mind the following holiday hosting tips and you’ll be the hostess with the mostest. This simple holiday party hosting timeline will give you all the shortcuts to a stress free holiday party or a last minute shindig that everyone will enjoy. Let the merriment begin!

1.Week of the holiday party: Food & Drinks

cheese platter by Andrea Goh (CC BY 2.0)
cheese platter by Andrea Goh (CC BY 2.0)

Let’s be honest most of us are not Martha Stewart and we don’t have time to whip up elaborate entrees or delicate desserts for our holiday party. Remember the holidays are about spending time together, not about the overeating. That’s why it’s perfectly ok to buy already prepared appetizers, dishes or even desserts for your holiday party. Take an already prepared cheese plate and place it on your own wood cutting board, sprinkle some honey or fresh fruit and you’ll have a gourmet looking appetizer. You may even want to make your party a potluck and let each guest add his/her own dish to the night. You can stock up on beverage options or find a unique holiday drink and make enough for all your guests. Try a holiday hot cider that can even be made in your crockpot!

  • Prepare a menu that will feed everyone
  • Stock up on prepared dishes, back up dishes and appetizers
  • Order your desserts from a local bakery
  • Call guests and confirm potluck dishes

2. Day before your holiday party: Ambiance

Modern Holiday Centerpiece by (CC BY 2.0)
Modern Holiday Centerpiece by (CC BY 2.0)

Whether it’s your family or your friends from work that are coming over, you want to make sure your place looks good, thus making you look good. Give your home a quick clean up, decluttering your entrance, table tops, counters and coffee tables. Rearrange seating so guests can mingle in the areas you want them to stay in. Create self-serve stations for beverages, appetizers, and desserts. This is will allow guests to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Drape stringed lights on serving tables or around your plants and shelves to create a warm and festive mood. Use natural elements you can find in your backyard for green diy decor; pine cones, red berries in empty wine bottles or dry branches with hanging ornaments will do the trick. Don’t forget to clean your guest bathroom, add a small touch of decor by the sink for a festive touch.

  • Do a quick clean of main areas
  • Declutter surfaces and spray with all purpose cleaner
  • Vacuum or sweep main areas
  • Decorate with string lights, seasonal candles and natural elements

3.Day of your holiday party: Relax

08.HomeRule.1807.NW.WDC.30November2014 by Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)
08.HomeRule.1807.NW.WDC.30November2014 by Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You’ve got your party shoes on but you’re still scrambling to put together a playlist, greet guests, making sure you’re pies don’t burn. This is the part where it’s ok to ask for help. Guests will often ask, “What can I do?” A great hostess delegates. Ask the first guests to arrive to help you greet other guests. Use a suggested holiday playlist from iTunes, Spotify or from a friend to save time. Use disposable biodegradable dishes, forks and cups for an easy clean up. Guests probably won’t remember your festive napkins or great wine choices but they will remember spending time with you, so take time to sit back and enjoy your company.

  • Accept help from guests
  • Delegate if needed
  • Use a prepared playlist
  • Use disposable cups, plates and forks to limit clean up.

What are your favorite holiday party hosting tips? Share them below in the comments section!