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Hosting a Great Holiday Party

Published on December 1st, 2016 by

Now that the holidays are in full swing, you might be contemplating hosting a small holiday party but the thought slightly scares you. Where do you start? We’ve got a list of our top 12 tips to hosting a great holiday party so get your invite list together and get started!


  1. You’re Invited

Don’t over think the invitations. Most events with the exception of weddings, use digital invitations so why not do the same? There are many wonderful options to choose from including or if you’re looking for something a little fancier, stop by

  1. Who Wants Punch?

If you want to keep your bar set up simple, bring back punch! Punch may seem a little “old school” but a great tasting punch that has some “punch” to it, will the get job done. Plus the nostalgia associated with punch will just further enhance your great holiday party!

  1. The Bar is Self-Serve

Or you can create a self-serve bar, stocked with the basic liquors, mixers, garnishes, etc. Put out the glasses, ice and stirrers and have your guests make their own drinks so you don’t have to feel chained to the bar all night. Also, it’s always a good idea to have non-alcoholic beverage options too!

  1. The Tunes

What’s a great holiday party without a rocking playlist? Holiday music is always a great option but most likely, the majority of your guests have probably heard these songs at least 3-4 times this month. Keep the holiday tunes in your playlist but also mix in some hip-hop, R&B and pop so no one overdoses on “This Christmas”.

  1. Add Some Soft Touches

Keep it simple. It’s so easy to go overboard with décor because who doesn’t love designing the space with pretty items?!?! We recommend using a monochromatic theme so go ahead and grab some red roses (or other red flowers) and create beautiful floral arrangements to place on the dining table, bar, cocktail table, etc.

  1. Set The Mood

Enhance the décor and the mood of the party further by incorporating some candles. You don’t have to stick to just one type of size of candle. Maybe have tall tapered candles along the dining table, intermingled with smaller votive candles. Have fun with it. You can keep these all the same color as well and incorporate some other colors with the candleholders.

  1. Things You May Forget About

It’s cold out, it may be snowing the evening of your party. Guests are going to arrive, layered up to keep warm so prepare your home by creating additional space in your coat closet for their coats. Maybe you have to take some of your coats out and throw them on your bed for the party but it’s always a nice courtesy for guests to be able to hang up their coats.

  1. Let It Flow

For the majority of us, our homes aren’t consistently set up for entertaining. Take inventory of your furniture and how it’s arranged. Do you have seating groupings which naturally encourage conversation? Is all your furniture centered around your 80” flat screen? If so, make some adjustments and re-arrange your furniture to create a nice flow for the party.

  1. Musical Chairs

Depending on how many people you expect, you may need to purchase and/or rent some additional chairs and tables to accommodate everyone. As the host, you want to make sure all your guests are comfortable and not standing around, waiting for someone to go to the restroom so they can steal their seat. No musical chairs here.

  1. Food

If you’re serving prepared foods which should be served warm, make sure it’s warm. There’s nothing worse than eating room temperature macaroni and cheese. Prior to the serving food, keep the prepared food items warm in your oven, set to 200 degrees. If you’re having a buffet dinner, consider renting or purchasing the proper equipment (i.e. buffet trays, Sternos, etc.) so the food remains warm for everyone.

  1. Cocktail Party or Formal Dinner?

Are you serving small bites or is it going to be a more formal, sit-down dinner? Either way, plan your menu ahead of time and once again, keep it simple. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to make fancy dishes to impress and it’s probably a good idea to test-drive any new recipes to avoid disasters at your event. No matter which type of party you’re hosting, keep food presentation in mind. It’s important that food is displayed in a clean, enticing manner.

  1. Take Home Goodies

Most hosts prepare way too much food for a party in fear of running out. Then you’re left with another dilemma, massive amounts of leftovers. If you don’t want to deal with all of that food afterwards, purchase some Chinese takeout boxes so guests can box up food to take home. It makes a nice little take home goody for your guests and it serves as a warm reminder of how much fun they had at your party when they enjoy the leftovers the next day.

What other tips do you have for hosting great holiday parties? What have you done in the past that was a huge success or a definite no-no for the future? We want to know!

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