Who doesn’t love throwing a party? There is something magical about sitting down, planning the decorations, creating the guest list, cooking the food, and opening your doors to friends and family. For one night, you can feel like “the hostess with the mostest” and sit back humbly while everyone showers you with compliments on how wonderful your party has been and how beautiful your home looks. No doubt, it is quite a lot of work to pull it off, but when you do, there’s nothing like it.
The winter holidays are prime “party-throwing” days; everyone is in the spirit to have fun and spend time with those closest to them. You can be sure that if you spend the time to plan a great party, people will show up (if you build it, they will come).
Here are a few short tips to throwing the perfect holiday party:
Create a Theme. Usually this is the first, and sometimes most difficult part of planning a party. You know you want to have consistency, but you aren’t sure what you want that to be. Luckily for you, this is the holidays, so your theme is pretty much already set! You can assume that it is probably cold and dreary or snowy outside, so make sure your atmosphere is warm and refreshing. You can do this by having your guests wear sweaters (we love ugly sweater parties), putting candles everywhere, and providing hot chocolate and hot apple cider for all your guests.
Decorate. This is one of the most important parts about throwing your party, and it’s the only one that you really can spend all the time you want on before the party. A little bit goes a long way here, and we are always about quality over quantity. Instead of caking your whole house in balloons and streamers, be tactical with where you place your decorations. There is certainly nothing wrong with those things, and we actually encourage them, but just be wise about placement rather than throwing them up everywhere. You want your party to be comfortable and inviting, and too many decorations can create an environment that feels more like a crowded mess than a fun, inviting atmosphere. For your decoration needs, you can save time and stress by getting everything in one place.
What’s on the Menu? This can be the highlight of a party, or conversely, it can be the downfall of an otherwise great party. You will want to know ahead of time exactly how many guests you will have and what you will be serving them. Drinks are fairly easy, because you can just over-estimate and make sure you have enough for everyone. Food on the other hand can be quite the challenge. Unless you know a full-service chef, we don’t suggest providing full meals if you have a decent-sized guest list; the logistics can be a nightmare (allergies, taste preferences, budget, etc). Instead, find a couple key hors d’oeuvres or finger snacks that everyone can enjoy, as well as some great deserts (baked goods are always easy and delicious). As always, keep to your theme; this is a holiday party, so hot chocolate and baked goods can go a long way!
Details, Details, Details. The little things always go the longest distance. Certain things are easy to overlook, but they can be extremely important and should not be overlooked. For your invitations, decide if you want to go online or in print; online will always be cheaper, but you can sometimes express yourself better in print. Remember to have your guests RSVP so you know how many to expect! You will want music to be playing in the background, so make sure you have means to do that, and create a playlist everyone can enjoy. Again, this is a holiday party, so you can’t go wrong with some classic jazz standards and carols. If you want to really throw a party everyone will remember, you can organize a small parting gift for all of your guests (everyone likes a present!)
Sit Back and Relax! If you have successfully planned your party, once the time actually comes, there should be very little you have to do. Playing host is always fun, and outside of making sure everyone is happy and satisfied, there is really very little to do. The better you plan before, the more you can just enjoy the party you’ve worked so hard on! Once your party is finished, don’t worry about the cleaning until the next day, and take pride in knowing you have just thrown a party that your friends and family won’t be forgetting about any time in the near future.