I know you could have guessed it, but I LOVE to throw a good party. I mean who doesn’t love going to a good party!
We are on the eve of hosting our first holiday party and I thought I'd share some tips and ideas that can really work for any party or event you may be hosting. You will notice a theme, I’m all about keeping it as simple as possible.
Tip #1 It's All in The Details
I think the key to every good party is having a consistent theme throughout and touching on that theme with little details your guest will remember. This weekend, since it’s in our house, I’m going with a ‘Whoville Christmas’ theme. I’ll add some pops of colorful décor on the bar and mingling areas; and include little touches throughout the party: bowls of colorful candy, custom signage, funny cocktail napkins, etc.
Extra Christmas ornaments are always an easy way to create a decorative piece, just drop a few into some hurricane vase or jars. Fresh garland is a nice touch as well. You can find it at local trees farms, it's usually $5 per foot and it really helps bring color and texture into the space, and bonus - It's makes the whole room smell like Christmas!
Additionally, I will throw in a few surprises like a guest Santa, unexpected carolers and fresh baked to-go cookies as a thank you gift for our guests on their way out. Again, it’s all in the details. (see more ideas below in the gallery)
Tip #2 Make The Bar Easy
Sometimes it can become overwhelming trying to please everyone, specifically their drink of choice. My goal has always been to keep the variety and selection simple, (which makes it easy on your guests as well). My selection this weekend is a mix of light and dark beers, one red and one white wine, a variation of whiskey options and a pre-made vodka cocktail (Jingle Juice recipe from Baked Bree). If that seems like a lot, you can always cut it down and just serve wine and beer. Oh, and don’t forget a few water stations or bottled water.
Tip #3 Communication
Communicate with your guests! Whether it's through a digital invite (my preferred method is Paperless Post) or an old-fashioned invite. Just make sure your guests know what is going on. Don't forget the main details like: date, time, location and the mini details like: parking info, attire, options for plus ones, etc. The more prepared your guests feel the more comfortable they will be.
Tip #4 Snacks
Rule of thumb, if you serve booze you have to serve food. Again, I keep it simple here too with timing being key. If you party starts in the earlier evening your guest might arrive hungry or assume you are planning to feed them. In our case the party starts at eight so we planned on lighter and sweeter snacks assuming guest will arrive post dinner. Either way, I’m mixing in some meat skewers, baked brie, festive snacks like popcorn and chex mix, and of course holiday treats like sugar cookies, ginger snaps, etc.
Tip #5 Create a Pre-Plan
Don't wait until the day before your event to get all your errands done. No one enjoys running around like a crazy person gathering last minute details, plus that leaves WAY too much room for error. I pull together a checklist of everything I can think of, and start checking off my list five days prior to the event; that way there is more time for things you may have forgot, less stress the day-of and you have more time to get ready and enjoy the party!