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How to Host a Holiday Party
Hosting a holiday party is a big responsibility. You’ll be in charge of your guest’s holiday experience, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. But don’t fret. All it takes for a successful party is the proper planning, a dash of organization, and enough holiday cheer to light up a tree!
It’s easy to feel overworked, under-prepared, or completely stressed out when planning a holiday gathering. But even a large holiday party doesn’t have to cause a panic attack. There are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. If you divide your preparations into discrete tasks and then tick them off one by one, you’ll find yourself entirely prepared and ready to have a good time when your guests arrive. Let’s look at what it takes to be successful.
SEE ALSO: How to Plan a Surprise Birthday Party
AUTOMATE YOUR INVITATIONS AND SEND THEM EARLY
When it comes to the holidays, people often make plans surprisingly early. To ensure that the people you want to attend are available, send your invitations early. There’s no reason you couldn’t send them in October, before Halloween. Two months might seem like ample time, but all it takes is someone else’s invitation landing before yours, and your guests could start dropping.
E-cards can be tempting, given their speed and simplicity, but there’s a better option. You can automate handwritten invitations with Simply Noted. Our handwriting machines can quickly create dozens or even hundreds of traditional handwritten invitations. They’ll feel authentic because, for all practical purposes, they are. Our machines use real ballpoint pens and smart fonts that adjust letter sizes and other details to create a convincing illusion.
In the time it takes to create an e-card, you could have Simply Noted mail tasteful, personalized, handwritten holiday party invitations.
CREATE A PARTY THEME
Likely, you’ll already have some holiday decorations prepared — a Christmas tree lit up in the corner or a menorah burning above the hearth. But it’s a party! You want a cohesive decoration theme that fills and ties your party together.
If you’re not a natural interior decorator, turn to the internet for inspiration. You can search for holiday party decor ideas through Google and on home and garden websites. Find something you like and apply the aesthetic consistently throughout your space. If you take a hodge-podge approach, your party could feel disjointed. Have a few visual elements that flow through your entire design, and then choose accent pieces to create variation.
CHOOSE A MENU
The food you serve at your party depends on a variety of factors. If it’s a dinner party, then you’ll need to offer a substantial meal. If you’re starting festivities later in the evening, you can get away with appetizers, finger foods, and dessert items. Pay attention to how hungry people are likely to be at the height of the gathering.
What you serve is up to you, but be sure to consider your guest’s preferences. You don’t want to serve a meat course to a group of vegetarians.
Think about how guests will move through the party. Depending on the layout of your space, heavy appetizers and finger foods might be easier to eat than a plated meal. The latter’s better suited to areas with plenty of seating.
WHEN IN DOUBT, BUY MORE
The last thing you want to do is run out of food or beverages during your party. Depending on when your event falls, stores may not be open to pick up supplies. Even if there are open, you don’t want to leave your party in the middle for a supply run. Estimate how much food you think you’ll need, and then buy more.
The same goes for beverages, both adult and otherwise. You might buy an assortment of options only to discover that one or two are particularly popular with your guests. Those will run out quickly, leaving your guests to choose from things they aren’t interested in. Get more of everything so that everyone can get what they want. You can always consume the excess in the weeks following your party.
MAKE A LIST AND DELEGATE
There’s a lot to keep track of when planning a party. Don’t try and keep it all in your head. Write down everything you need to buy and all the steps you need to take to ensure a successful party. Consider how long each part will take, and create a loose schedule. Then back time from the date of the event, with a bit of wiggle room, to guarantee you have enough time to get everything done.
Then delegate! You don’t need to be a hero. Press your family and close friends into service. They’ll be happy to help to ensure themselves an invitation. Assign roles and stick to them. Have a few people to help with the arrangements and others (or some of the same) on hand to offer aid in the kitchen and at various points during the party. With a bit of help, you’ll be able to host and also enjoy your party.
MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MUSIC
Holiday parties aren’t complete without season tunes. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Logistical matters become more difficult to resolve once your guests arrive.
Wireless speakers placed in each room make it easy to fill your space with sound. You can control many models with your cell phone, making setup a breeze. Make sure to buy any hardware you need ahead of time so you can test the system.
Once your infrastructure is in place, create a playlist. Streaming services like Spotify make this easy. If you’re old school, gather your holiday CDs early and decide your play order. You can certainly go “off script” during the event, but having a plan ensures a good mix of music.
DON’T FORGET THE THANK YOU CARDS!
Heartfelt thank you cards make a lovely closing to a successful holiday party. They serve to rekindle your guests’ holiday cheer and remind them of beautiful memories.
Thank you notes should always be handwritten, but that doesn’t mean you need to write them yourself. Simply Noted can help here, too. If we create your invitations for you, we’ll already have your addresses on file. In less than five minutes, you could choose a card design, sculpt your personalized message, and have authentic, handwritten thank-yous winging their way to your guests.
It’s that easy. When hosting a holiday party, you already have enough on your plate. Delegate where you can and let Simply Noted take care of your handwritten cards.