It’s the holidays and the hustle and bustle can make people crazy and holiday hosting can get even more crazy. Below are some easy tips to help with holiday hosting to make sure your guest and YOU are merry!
It's All in The Details
The key to any party is nailing the details. Sometimes it's fun to twist in a theme to help create details your guests will remember. Last year, we hosted a holiday party and I decided to go with a ‘Whoville Christmas’ theme. I found bright colorful décor and decorated the main areas of the house: entryway, kitchen, bar area, living room, guest bathroom, etc.
Play into the holiday decor, have fun with it! I set out holiday candy throughout the house and make some custom signage for the bar area. Extra Christmas ornaments are always an easy way to create a decorative piece. I like to drop them into empty hurricane vases or large candy jars. Fresh garland is a nice touch as well, it makes your home smell great too. You can find fresh garland at most local trees farms, it's usually $5 per foot. The garland helps bring color and texture into the space. And it makes the whole room smell like Christmas!
Additionally, it's always fun to throw some surprises at your guests. Have someone dress up like Santa and greet everyone as they come in or bake some cookies as to-go gift on their way out.
Make The Bar Easy
Sometimes it can become overwhelming trying to please everyone. So my best is advice is to keep the variety and selection simple, (which makes it easy on your guests as well).
Wine - I try and stick to one red and one white. You don't want to over complicated it. If you are serving an appetizer that goes well with a bold red, you can always add another red to the line up. But for the most part, guest tend to stick to red blends and chardonnay.
Beer - I keep things super simple here too. Select one light beer and one dark beer. Two options make it simple for everyone.
Spirits - This is totallypreference and it's good to know your crowd. If your hosting a larger group, it might be easiest to pre-make a cocktail. I did this one last year, it was a hit! Jingle Juice (a recipe from Baked Bree). The recipe calls for Gin, but we used Vodka and it was delicious!
If that seems like a lot, you can always cut it down and serve wine and beer. Oh, and don’t forget a few water stations or bottled water.
Communicate with your guests! Whether it's through a digital invite (my preferred method is Paperless Post or Evite) or an old-fashioned paper invite. Make sure your guests know what is going on. Don't forget the main details like: date, time, location, parking info, attire, options for plus ones, etc. The more prepared your guests feel the more comfortable they will feel in your home.
Don’t Forget The Snacks
Rule of thumb, if you serve booze you have to serve food. Again, I keep it simple here too and timing being key. If your party starts earlier in the evening your guest might arrive hungry or assume you are planning to feed them. If your event starts later in the evening, plan for lighter and sweeter snacks assuming guest will arrive post dinner. Either way, mixing in festive snacks are always a crowd pleaser!
Enjoy The Party
As a host, you want to actually enjoy the event. So pre-planning is very important. Complete all your details well in advance and ask for help if needed. Don't wait until the day before your event to get all your errands done. Tip: I pull together a checklist of everything I can think of, and start checking off my list five days before the event. That way there is less stress the day-of and you have more time to get ready and enjoy the party!