No matter what holiday party you plan on hosting this festive season, we have you covered with these 7 essentials for successful holiday hosting.
1. To Theme or Not to Theme?
Themes can be fun…or they can be a total disaster. When considering the use of a theme, it is important to consider your own personality, as well as the potential personalities of guests. If you’re an over-the-top kind of person who thrives in new situations, a theme party might be perfect for you. However, if you prefer a quieter kind of party, or are hosting a more conservative set, themes are not required. Either way, do feels the most comfortable for you. Your guests can only enjoy themselves when you enjoy yourself too!
2. Organic Decorations Make the Best Decorations
There’s no need to spend a million dollars when you’re decorating for a holiday party. To add an authentic and rustic (yet classy) touch to any holiday gathering, try looking in your yard and local green areas for pine needles, pine cones, and any other autum/winter type decor that might look great in a centerpiece or other festive display. Empty boxes can also be covered in holiday wrapping, and old candlesticks and and votive holders are prime for some holiday redecoration.
3. Don’t Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you’ve never fried a turkey, or have no idea how to make that 180 year-old-recipe your Significant Other just handed you, that’s okay! Don’t feel pressured to go outside your comfort zone, as your guests will immediately feel your unease and things will spiral down the tube. If the only Turkey you know how to make is a simply-seasoned and oven-baked one – make that Turkey! Authenticity goes a long way and is key to the success of any holiday host.
4. Your Guests Can Bring Things Too
Whether you’re having a potluck meal or just new a few extras before the big dinner, it’s okay to ask your guests to contribute to the party. Most guests will ask if there is anything they can bring, and if there is don’t be afraid to tell them yes. What is important when asking guests to bring items, however, is to be specific. Avoid the awkwardness of duplicates or unused items by asking your guests to bring specific and needed items only.
5. Get Your Home Ready 1 Week Before the Event
This one is a MUST for any host, and its one that you can even get the Significant Other or the kids involved in. Deep clean the high-traffic areas of your home (ex: bathroom, kitchen, living room), set the table and put up all your decorations. Not only will this leave you more time to get the house ready, but it will also give you time to relax before your holiday event and enjoy the fruits of your labor peacefully. Plus, it’s one those great holiday-time musts that will leave you and your family with memories for years to come.
6. What Your Job Is vs. What Your Job Is Not
It’s easy to get carried away in the pressures of hosting the perfect holiday party, but it’s important not to forget what your job really is: create a warm and welcoming space for your guests to enjoy themselves in. You don’t need to throw a million dollar soirée or have the newest and boldest menu around. All you need to do is welcome your guests with welcoming arms and make sure your home is welcoming to. Just make yourself comfortable and your guests will be comfortable too.
7. Don’t Forget to Enjoy Your Own Party
If you’re anything like me, you can get swept up by the current of your own minutely planned schedules. Before you know it, you’re stuck in the kitchen for the night, sweating off your $100 worth of Clinique make-up and leaving the socializing to your family and guests. DON’T DO THIS. Remember to enjoy your own party. You put a lot of work into this night, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy. Stay ahead of schedule and pre-prep as many things as possible so the night of your party goes off without a hitch!
Have any more great tips for holiday hosting? Let me know in the comments below!