Here’s How To Throw Your Best Holiday Party Yet
Sounds like you're one of those people who enjoy being stressed: taking on the responsibility of hosting a party during the holiday season? Wow! Everyone knows that hosting holiday parties can take your stress level and run with it.
But, fear not! With careful party planning, you can plan a party that you might actually enjoy as much as your guests! The key to an unforgettable night is that details matter! From a casual dinner party to a full-blown open house cocktail party, we put our heads together and came up with the ten tips we believe will ensure that your holiday party is the best one of the season that you will actually enjoy as well!
Plan It Out
Santa isn't the only one who needs to make a list and check it twice…. Of course, you're really not looking to decide who's naughty or nice. (Unless that's a part of your invite list decision process...more on that later!) The truth is, the best way to create a stress-free holiday party is to refer to your list. Nobody can keep that many thoughts and ideas organized when it comes to planning the perfect party!
Plan ahead and do not stick your nose up at delegating tasks to friends and family, because doing things at the last minute can get messy! You are not a martyr; you are a generous host! The good hosts know what they can and can't handle, but the best hosts know what they can and can't handle, but know someone who might make the latter happen!
Cook Ahead: Do as much as you possibly can before the day of the party. And while doing so, keep in mind food that does well freezing or staying hot for long periods of time for your holiday entertaining. A slow cooker can be a game-changer for your soiree. Think quiches and tarts for freezing and soups and stews for staying hot!
If the meal or food you are preparing requires you to cook on the day of the party, do all of the sous-chef work long before the party. Cut, gather, and measure, so when you pull out your ingredients, it'll be super easy and way less stressful because your prepping is already done. This will also prevent you from having to make an emergency trip to the grocery store three minutes before the party starts! If cooking really isn't your thing, remember that you can always do a potluck, so all the food isn't up to you, or you could even enlist the help of a caterer.
Stock Up: Suddenly, buying in bulk will be your new best friend. If you have room to store food like a bear going into winter, do it! Here's why: have you ever been to a get-together and after a few drinks you find yourself indulging on more food than usual? While drinking at parties, we often find ourselves extra snacky! Be prepared for the tipsy grazers looking for more food long after the hot options have already been devoured! Keep nuts, crackers, dips, and cheese platters ready to serve and have a few for backups!
Hors- D'oeuvres: An easy way to break the ice before the main meal is out is with finger foods. There are so many delicious appetizer ideas out there, and which ones you choose depends on your tastes and cooking skills. In our personal opinions, there is no party without some delicious pigs in a blanket. But that's just our two cents.
And don't forget dessert! Whether you whip up something special or stick with the classic Christmas cookies, most people will want something sweet at the end of the night.
Holiday Cocktails: There are so many different cocktails to choose from, but don't get too hung up with making fancy drinks for everyone. Stick to one or two signature cocktails and fill in the rest with wine and beer. Lucky for you, we happen to be experts at making cocktails, which shouldn't be surprising since we are a wine company, after all—looking for some cocktails to whip up? Here are some super festive drinks your guests will love!
Large Batch Cocktails: Pre-made, large batch drinks are the way to go for all cocktail and holiday parties! They make your life so much easier by freeing you from bartender duty. Plus, you have one task done before the party even begins. If you're wary of make-ahead cocktails, we want to assure you that they can be as festive and beautiful as they are delicious! Oh, and good news, we also have a few recommendations on what to make! Here is a blog post we wrote where we highlight our favorites!
Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Make those who might not drink feel welcome with a few drinks they can enjoy. Provide water, obviously, but another fun option like cranberry juice or soda will help your non-drinking guests feel included. Plus, this will help your drinking guests have an option if they need to sober up for a ride home!
Bev is ALWAYS an Option: We mentioned that we're a wine company, so it's only fair we add ourselves to the drink options, right? First, at three carbs and only 160 calories per can, we're a crispy, fizzy drink that can fit into anyone's diet. We don't add anything to our wines, making them safe for almost anyone! We also come in three different varieties, Bev Gris, Bev Pinot Grigio, and Bev Rose, each having their personalities you'll love to get to know! We also make our girls in cans, meaning fewer dishes for you!
The Invite List
Know Your Limits: If you're considering throwing a large open house party, keep your guest list limited to the number of people you believe can fit comfortably into your house. For these types of parties, not everyone is there at the same time. However, it is better to be safe than sorry!
People that Mingle: We all have friends from a variety of different places. From work to the gym to parents in your kid's classes, you might have friends that don't overlap or have many similarities. One good rule to follow is ensuring that everyone invited knows and actually likes two other guests. A good host wants to make sure nobody feels uncomfortable and feels like they are in a room full of strangers.
Invite Early: You might not start to think about your holiday party until the season has already arrived, but others might have been planning their holiday parties since the end of last year. Friends and family's calendars during the holiday season tend to fill up quickly. To ensure all of your favorite people can attend, send your invites out in advance! Whether that's via mail, text, call, email, or via online invitation service, get the date to the people you care about most!
Joyful Music: Set the mood of your party with music. Background music can indeed take a party to the next level. Your playlist doesn't necessarily have to be Christmas music, but a seasonal mix of good music does go a long way! Ensure that your music isn't too loud so that your guests can actually have conversations with one another without feeling like they have to scream. Another tip from pro-hosts is to choose musical selections that don't have lyrics.
Sounds like you're a very type-A person if you're keeping in mind all of the crucial details. Don't worry; we kept you in mind when writing this blog, so we got some more tips and tricks in our
Where Are You Putting All Those Coats?
Remember It's Cold: If you live somewhere cold where people will be coming in with many layers, find a place where guests can store all of the extra layers they don't want to be carrying around all night. Although this seems like an obvious suggestion, this is something that is often not considered when hosting a party!
Make it Comfy: Although having the cleanest house isn't a prerequisite to hosting a party, it is a good idea to clean and de-clutter. It could be as easy as closing the door and hiding all of the items that don't have a home in one place.
Is Everyone Driving?
Mocktails: Not only do mocktails make someone who doesn't drink feel more welcome, but they also provide a tasty option to encourage sobriety. It's much easier to stay sober or get sober when the choice is clear and won't make guests feel 'different.'
Give Your Home A Seasonal Scent
Smells Change Things: There is always a ton of emphasis placed on decor. Decking the halls and making your house look beautiful is essential. But, there are other senses our body responds to beyond sight. That's smell and sound. Since we've already got the smell covered, let's talk about scents. The visual and sound will give a feeling, but a smell will provide the entire experience. You can incorporate a scent into your centerpieces by including things like pine branches or Gingerbread scented candles.
Take Some You Time
Nap: Although we have put together this list of ways to make your life easier and less stressful, throwing a party is still a considerable endeavor. Make sure you prepare yourself properly for the night ahead. Whether it's taking a nap, watching your favorite show, or taking a bubble bath, there are so many ways you can provide yourself self-care that will put you in the mood to host!
Have A Blast
Fun: Remember: you decided to throw this party because you knew it would be fun. No matter who you are or how many parties you've thrown, you can still get stressed, and sometimes, that stress overshadows the fun! Don't lose sight of what your goal is, and remember, you're just human!