Author: Jennifer Scott
With the impending holidays upon us, it’s time to start planning your own festive seasonal party. Whether a first-time host or hostess, or a party planning vet, there are some important things to remember to keep the holidays light and jolly. Holiday stress is real, particularly for women, and finding ways to cope with it will help ensure you have the best season ever. Read on to learn how to avoid falling into common hosting mistakes this holiday season:
TIP #1 GET CREATIVE
The first steps in planning are: deciding on a theme; the overall aesthetic you want for your soiree, formal or informal; dinner or appetizers, place setting designs; plan the menu; decorations and centerpieces, and so on. If you haven’t joined Pinterest, now would be a good time; users on the site share virtually everything needed for party planning.
TIP #2 MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Once you’ve decided on the above, start a checklist of all the things you’ll need to do, and remember, for the party; invitations, food purchases, beverage purchases, reminder invites, decoration purchases and prep, and so forth. For example, if you’re going formal and hosting your first dinner party, you may not remember the exact number of place settings, or the recipe for the perfect side dish. Keep your list handy for any last minute ideas and thoughts in the planning stages.
TIP #3 INVITATIONS
Depending on the formal or informal nature of your party, you’ll likely be inviting people either via a formal mailed invite, via email, or other technology. Here’s a few things to consider:
● Unless you’re renting a hall, keep the guest list simple. Invite your close friends, and even a few you’ve missed seeing. A smaller crowd will allow you the opportunity to spend meaningful time with guests, without adding the stress of planning for large numbers.
● Send a reminder; people will need a gentle reminder as the event draws closer.
● Make sure to include an RSVP in advance of your party purchases. You’ll need a good count to purchase the right quantities.
TIP #4 ASK FOR HELP
It’s okay to delegate a few tasks to a close friend. Give them a short list of what you need help with, and let them pick what most interests them.
TIP #5 PLAN FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Consider any special needs your party attendees may have. If your best friend is allergic to seafood, skip the crab dip. Or, if someone disabled, on a walker or in a wheelchair, is attending, allow them to enter through the easiest access.
TIP #6 PREPARE YOUR PLAYLIST
TIP #7 KEEP STOCKED UP
Whatever you do, DON’T RUN OUT OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE; nothing will end a party faster.
TIP #8 LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Parties can slow after stomachs are full, consider being prepared with an entertaining game.
TIP #9 RELAX
One of the best ways to relax during your party is to work, in advance, to do as much as possible so the party runs on autopilot. Make it your goal to be ready to share cocktails and appetizers with your guests. Remember, to relax. You’re disposition sets the tone for party attendees. If you’re anxious, they’ll feel that. If you’re ready to have some fun, they’ll follow.
TIP #10 PARTY FAVOR
Prepare a small party favor for your guest. They shared an important evening with you; show your gratitude with a small gift.
Following these tips will help you to maximize the season’s spirit and minimize the season’s stress. Cheers, to a stress-free holiday season!