Must Know Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday Party
Hosting a holly jolly holiday party isn’t as as simple as it looks on Instagram or Pinterest, but with our tips, it IS entirely possible to throw a stress-free festive function that’ll wow your guests.
PLAN: Think big picture and nitty gritty. Overall plan and details. They key to any event is to plan, and plan properly. Set aside a date and stick to it. Make lists of what you’ll need from food to drink, decor and activities. Don’t forget to think about set-up and clean-up, and what will make YOU enjoy the party just as much as your guests.
In order to create an atmosphere that’s comfortable for everyone, it’s important to be organized. Where do coats and boots go? Do you have enough seating? Where will the main serving area be? If you think about all these elements in advance, the party will be seamless from the start.
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE OR SILENT NIGHT?: What’s the atmosphere of your party? Once you nail down the theme or feel, you can begin shaping the party.
INVITES: Formal printed invites may not be completely necessary, but a beautifully created online invite definitely makes your event stand up against the rest. Think about reflecting your party theme through the invite design (think: Katerina’s Kris Kringle exchange, or The Anderson’s Holiday Open House). Indicate the guest arrival time, or if it’s a drop-in party. Mention if kids are welcome and any other special notes, like parking locations or if Santa is visiting, for example.
FOOD & DRINK: What’s a party without good food? Not much of a party IMO. Planning a menu can be time consuming and the most stressful part of planning. Whether you’re having a sit-down dinner, buffet, or cocktail party, it’s important to have a variety of Christmas Party food. We love the Krinos Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Mini Rolls. These little morsels of crunchy fillo are the perfect holiday app that will save time and also taste great. They’re crispy on the outside and warm and creamy on the inside with a hint of jalapeño spice, plus, they’re super simple — just bake for 30 minutes from frozen — and they are great for munching while chatting with other guests.
When it comes to bevvies, offering a custom Christmas Party drink is a beautiful stand-out detail — a candy cane cocktail or a mistletoe mojito perhaps. To save time the day/eve of your celebration, premix the drink and serve in a large canister or drink dispenser. Remember to offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, and ensure there is a safe way for all of your guests to get home by offering up taxis or an uber service.
DECOR: Time to put all those hours surfing and scrolling to use. Plan your decor in advance; think table cloths and napkins, garland and jingle bells. The best Christmas party decor is noticeable and deliberate, but not over-the-top (unless that’s your theme of course!) Arrange small vases with fresh flowers, or use poinsettias or sweet little Grinch firs as centre pieces you can pick up in advance at your local florist or grocery store. If you’re feeling ambitious, try tying in your party theme into the décor (i.e. Rosemary Christmas trees for a festive foodie soiree).
MUSIC: Don’t forget about Christmas party music! Using a ready-made playlist will give you hours of Christmas carol favourites in minutes. If you’re hosting a dance party, take that into consideration and find a separate playlist.
LITTLE ELVES: Don’t forget the kids. Think about your specific Christmas party and its guests. If you have lots of children coming to your party, reserve an area for easy arts-and-crafts, colouring or cookie decorating. Gingerbread men and women (and houses) are also tons of fun.
GIFT GIVING: Sending your guests off with a party favour is a welcome reminder of the celebration. Again, think simple, ready-made, stress free: A beautiful Christmas ornament, a holiday mug or a sample of your favourite winter tea or hot chocolate mix, a chocolate Santa or even a pair of cozy socks. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, just from the heart.
THE CLEAN UP: No one wants to think about the clean-up after a Christmas party, regardless if it’s a big or small one. Think about cutlery and dishes: rent or purchase recyclable plates, cups and cutlery — there are endless options for good quality and design. This will eliminate a lot of clean up time. Also, ensure there are enough visible disposal areas so guests have a place to throw their tableware. If you can afford it, plan ahead and arrange for a cleaning service to help you out, and don’t discount the value of hiring bartenders and servers for the party itself. This will allow you to mingle and enjoy your guests and they take care of all the clean-up throughout the event.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN: A happy host or hostess is a great one. If something doesn’t go entirely as planned, let it go and enjoy the party.