Since long before there was Christmas, humans have needed to create light in the darkness, warmth in the cold months. We just need that spark to keep us from feeling gloomy. And so we have parties and get dressed up and eat and drink and laugh. Some of us love to do the hosting, and some of us – well, let’s just say we’d rather receive invitations and bring the champers than do all that work ourselves. If you’ve been thinking you might branch out into hosting a holiday party this December, don’t fear but do plan. Here are the best tips from expert party planners for pulling it off with style.
Before you head to a craft store and sink hundreds of hours into creating your own decor, know that there are pre-assembled table decorating kits that have all you need for themed events – Styleboxe is one company specializing in these – and they take a huge chunk of work off hosts’ shoulders. Just unpack the box, set your tables, and watch your party take shape. Now to the other must-do items on your list.
Sorry, did we mention this one already? That’s because it’s really important. Unless you’re planning a cozy dinner with friends or family, you have to think about the following and more: food from pre-dinner drinks to desserts, atmosphere from lighting to music, and physical needs from toothpicks to glassware. Start about four weeks out, at least making lists: guests, food ideas, and all the odds and ends.
A huge benefit of planning so far out is that being as prepared as possible means the night of the event you can actually relax. If you aren’t in a panicky scramble hours and minutes before your guests arrive, they will feel it and it won’t exactly set the tone you’re going for here.
Keep It Simple
Know what people love? Comfort food. Especially at this time of year. Keep the quality elevated with great ingredients, but don’t be afraid to give the people what they want. Risotto, a roast, potatoes, chocolate – the classics will ensure your guests leave sated and happy.
If you’re doing just heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, plan a combination of fine cheeses and some items you make yourself for that impress-the-guests factor. There are loads of elegant appetizers that are simple enough even for a novice cook. Fancy olives,
For drinks, choose something that you can make in large batches, such as French 75. It’s fragrant, bubbly, tart and pretty. Find a recipe for a crowd here.
A dessert bar of small items lets everyone graze and gets you off the job of slicing and serving a tart or similar large dessert.
You can easily wrap up the table decoration part of your planning with a pre-assembled box, which will allow you to focus on the guests, the food, and the drink!