Stress-Free Holiday Party Planning

December 16, 2014

So you've purchased a new home and decided you'd take the opportunity to have the gang over for the holidays. What have you gotten yourself into? Okay, so of course you want to show off your new home, and maybe you already threw a house warming party. If not take a look at our housewarming party tips for some ideas. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to create a stress-free party atmosphere at your next holiday party. Holiday table setting with delicious whole baked sliced hamChoose Your Guest List - Is this a big party for friends, family, neighbors and co-workers? Or is it an intimate affair for close family and friends. Once you have a feel for the size of the party it will be easier to decide a lot of other details. Decide on a Style - Will this be a sit down meal, buffet style meal, or just a wine and cheese party with all kinds of appetizers and finger foods? Send out Invitations - This is all up to you on what level of formality you'd like to set for the event. Is it a very formal invite with RSVP's or is it a casual gathering. Some of this will be determined by the style you set and your expectations. Is it important for you to have an exact head count? Is this a family affair where it's word of mouth? Is it a mixed group where an Evite or a Facebook event would suffice? Keep it simple if you can. It will be easier in the long run. Catered or Home-Cooked - Once you decide on the style and know how many people are coming, you have to decide whether you are going to do-it-yourself or bring in the experts. On the one hand catering a meal gives you more time to spend with family and friends, and on the other - there is nothing like a home cooked meal for the holidays. Plan a Menu - Once you decide on cooking methods and style, you'll be able to plan your menu. Do you want to do traditional dishes such as roast beef, ham or pork roast accompanied by roasted winter vegetables, and mashed potatoes or stuffing. Or are you going to go with a multitude of hors d'oeuvres that can be quickly prepared. GewürzteeDecide on Decorations - Are you going to have centerpieces? Is there a theme? Are your regular holiday decorations all you really need? This is highly personal but you can find lots of table pieces and center pieces on Pinterest. Make a List - Just like Santa, make a list of everything you need before the party, and check it twice. Do you need additional cutlery? Are you going classy plastic, or formal china? Put down beverages, quantities, menu items, everything you can think of to make organizing yourself a no brainer. Prep Ahead - Just like any great chef, think about what you can do ahead of time to make things easier for the day of. Again this will all depend on whether you are cooking it yourself or catering the extravaganza. Stock the Bar - What are you going to serve? Cocktails? Wine? How about a holiday beverage you can make large quantities of like warm cider or mulled wine. Make sure you have on hand the ice, glassware, mixers and nonalcoholic beverages as well. Get ready to party! Once you have gone through these tips your holiday planning will be a lot easier. Just asking yourself a few simple questions makes takes the stress out of planning a party.
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