As we live out our intricately busy lives, the holidays remind us to pause and enjoy the precious moments we get to spend with family and friends. Now that the season is right around the bend, it’s time to get your plans together for the festive gatherings you’ll be hosting in the coming weeks.
We have scoured every inch of the web to bring you the most exclusive tips and tricks that will take your party hosting skills to the next level. Whether you are having a small get-together or a large, formal dinner, the following advice will help just about anyone in the party-planning mode.
Ready, Set, Party!
- Send Out Invites
It is important that you send out invitations or e-invites up to four weeks in advance. This allows people to have extra notice and you’ll know early on whether or not they’ll be attending your event. The sooner you have your guest list in order, the easier everything else becomes.
Helpful tip: Try creating custom digital invitations at Paperless Post.
- Create a To-Do List
One of the most important things you can do is create a handy list with all of your “to-dos.” Arrange your list in time-sensitive order, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
- Buy in Bulk
Is there anything worse than reaching for a bubbly water only to realize that that was the very last bubbly water at your party?! Buying in bulk will not only save you a bit of money but more importantly it can help you to avoid the last minute embarrassment associated with running short. The same idea applies to snacks that you’ll be serving.
Helpful tip: Amazon delivers food! Sign up for Amazon Fresh to avoid the holiday rush and get food delivered straight to your door.
- Cook Ahead
Some hors d’oeuvres can be cooked ahead of time, refrigerated or frozen, and pulled out the day of your party. Also, keep in mind that some food items can be purchased at the store without compromising quality. Figuring out which items can just be purchased will allow you to free up your time for more important items, and you’ll feel a lot less stress in the kitchen on the day of your event.
Helpful tip: If you have food that needs to remain warm, you can place it in an oven at 200 degrees and it will serve as a warming drawer!
- DIY Cocktails
Martha Stewart suggests you set up a self-serve bar area so that you aren’t stuck fixing drinks at your own party. This leaves you with an opportunity to get creative with the drink options. Fix up a fun, holiday-themed drink menu, set out the supplies, and let your guests get to it.
- Decorate Your Home
Decorating is unique to everyone. Designer Nathan Turner says that your holiday decor should accurately reflect how you live. If you live in a minimalist, neutral space, make a point to have your holiday decor follow the same principles. Turner points out that decorating for the holidays can enter tacky territory very quickly. To avoid this, he says you can incorporate flowers or greenery, which will keep the decor lively and classy. As well, incorporating timeless pieces, like silver heirlooms, is a great way to add some holiday shine to your decor.
Helpful Tip: We’ve written about the best way to store your silver, if silver polish is really necessary, and are always ready to help get your silver pieces looking spic and span right in time for the holiday madness.
- Think Ahead
Store extra gifts in case a friend brings you a gift unexpectedly. Candles, wine, or a unique Christmas ornament are some ideas that are vague enough to work for everyone, but thoughtful enough that everyone will feel special when receiving it. You can also make one take-home gift for everyone at your party. By doing this, no one gets left out and everyone will have something to remind them of the special evening.
- Manage the Mood
Sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we forget the nuances that really work to bring the party full-circle. You can turn on holiday music, play around with overhead lighting, and light some scented candles to engage your guests’ senses!
Helpful Tip: We love AccuRadio for a lot of things, including their wide selection of holiday music.
For more information, check out these articles from the queen Martha Stewart, Real Simple, Architectural Digest, and HGTV.