It’s that time of year for holiday celebrations. It is a magical time of year when the lights are glowing everywhere you go. We love to gather with family, friends, or co-workers around yummy food, glorious decorations, and warmth in our soul. Holiday entertaining is a ton of fun, but when you are planning there is much to do as the host.
With a lot of prep work and a little wine, you can plan an epic holiday party. I have a free printable party planner for you at the bottom of this post!
Here are some practical tips to get you started.
Choose a location that can host the amount of people you are inviting. If its just family, a home gathering will be great but sometimes there are too many people for a house party. If this is the case, make sure to book your location early. Make sure it is bright and inviting. You could use local hotels, banquet halls, or your neighborhood clubhouse if your home is not quite party ready. Also, decide if your epic holiday party will be a formal sit down meal or more of casual gathering.
Send your invites early. People have a lot going on in the month of December and the holidays are filled with gatherings and parties. To get your attendees to RSVP, send your invites out as early as possible.
Decide if your party will be a kid-friendly or kid-free event and make sure to include this information on the invitation. Also, mention any special things, like if Santa will be present for pictures, for example.
Create an event in Facebook to reach those people who you know use social media. This will also be great for reminders and to build hype for your event. Make sure to let your invitees know if the even is formal or casual.
Choose a theme for your occasion. This could be a number of things. Anything from a color scheme to an elf inspired theme or winter wonderland. By embellishing your party centered around a theme, you will make a great impression to your guests.
I have this amazing Pinterest board for party decorations, we should totally be ‘PIN’ pals. Join me on Pinterest!
Create (or order, I won’t tell) foods that tie in to your theme if you can or at best, have matching catering dishes to make it look amazing and cohesive. When creating your menu for your party, think about your guests and if anyone has an allergy or insensitivity. If you are unsure of your guests dietary needs, then go ahead and make a few items that fall into these categories, like gluten free, dairy free, or nut free. If you can find one or two recipes that can cover all of these, great!
Also, decide if you would like to host a pot luck event. We do this in our family where everyone will bring a side dish or dessert. This helps to level out the cost of the party. It is up to you if you would like to do a pot luck, but you will need to coordinate who will bring what.
Decide on what type of entertainment you will offer your guests. Soft music in the background or Santa Clause handing out presents. Karaoke is always fun!
Also, you could do a gift exchange game where everyone brings a wrapped gift and you draw numbers to see what order they will choose a gift. These are fun for any occasion. Put a price point and make sure to let your guests know in advance.
Tips For Hosting Your Party
2 – 3 Weeks Prior
Make sure that you have invited everyone you want to invite. Make sure you have your theme and color scheme picked out. Also, make sure you have your menu plan pretty well thought out. Know whether you will be ordering your food or preparing it yourself. If you are ordering your food, you will want to do so at least two weeks prior to your party; they are super busy this time of year.
1 Week Prior
Confirm with your invitees that they are coming. Whether you call them up or bring it up in conversation, you will want to build hype and suspense for your party. Offer highlights of the neat theme you chose to get your guests excited. Make the choice easy for them by talking about the fun things you have planned for them or the yummy food you’ll have for them.
2 Days Prior
Make sure you have all of your decorations and your food shopping list nailed down. Make sure you have enough party platters and serving dishes. Make sure you have all the necessary eating utensils and napkins. At this point, you want to make sure you have everything you will need. Go through your checklist in the free printable party planner to see what last minute things you will need.
1 Day Prior
Decorate! This is my favorite part! Set up your extra tables, table clothes, and displays. Anything you can today that will save you time tomorrow, do it! Any foods that you can prepare the day before your event like fruit salads, pies, or anything that you can make ahead, do it.
Make sure you have everything set up and ready before you get ready for your event. The last thing you want to do is get ready (all nice and fancy) and then spill something on yourself.
Enjoy your guests! Don’t stress if they are having fun, join them in the fun.
That is how you plan an epic holiday party! Make sure you download your free printable holiday party planner.
What is your favorite themed party that you hosted or went to. Share in the comments!