First and foremost, the trick to successful hosting is simply staying organized. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your holiday soiree goes off without a hitch, and that you hold on to your sanity this year!
Prepare in Advance.
Don’t try to do everything in one day. Consider what you’ll be cooking- how much of it can be made in advance? Items like cranberry sauce and various desserts can be made a day ahead to save you some time for other finishing touches and preparations the day of. Make sure that you have done all errands before the day of the party, (liquor store, groceries, flowers, candles, etc.) you don’t want to be running around the day of. Secondly, if you’re hosting a larger gathering, don’t try to do it all yourself! Either hire some help or ask a close friend or family member to help you out with the last-minute preparations and serving. (Don’t forget about the kids- they can be super helpful when incentivized…)
Have Your House Cleaned the Day before the Party.
Make sure to have the house looking spic and span the day your guests arrive! Having it cleaned the day before is a good way to ensure that it’s in prime condition for your party. You may think you’d rather do this yourself to save on costs but, trust me, you will be thankful to have the help once you get started on preparing for the event.
Buy Fresh Flowers.
It may seem simple, but having fresh flowers like poinsettias or other holiday inspired arrangements will really add to the festive ambiance of your party.
Make Sure Your Dishes Match.
This may seem insignificant, however if you’re looking to host a really elegant dinner party, a matching set of dishes are a must. If you find that you have a few too many guests and run out of plates, try and grab a few more before the party. If you’re not able to find an exact match, coordinate with a similar look and disperse them evenly around the table so that it looks intentional.
Triple Check your Seating Arrangements.
Be sure that you have enough seating for all of your guests. There is nothing worse than making a guest feel awkward or forgotten! Nametags are a great (and elegant) way to ensure that no one is forgotten. Nametags can also help you strategically separate any of those friends or family members who are known to bicker and start that dreaded tinsel tension!
Find a Fab Centerpiece.
It won’t feel like a holiday party without a festive centerpiece! There are beautiful pre-made arrangements available in most flower shops and even supermarkets that incorporate holly, pine garlands, ornaments, pinecones- whatever suits your taste! Remember to consider the size of your table when choosing your centerpiece, don’t drown out the rest of the table with a massive one if you haven’t got the room. A small centerpiece can be tasteful and just as effective! If your budget is starting to get a bit tight at this point, this is also an area where it’s fun to try a DIY approach.
Don’t Forget the Music and Lighting
With all the preparations it’s easy to forget the last step, which is creating the mood with lighting and music. Don’t leave all the lights blazing in each room, use dimmers and candles to create the desired ambiance and curate the perfect playlist for an evening to remember!
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