Holiday Party Tips
Published: December 2018
Author: Bank of England Mortgage Staff
Everyone enjoys being a part of a holiday party, especially one that is well put together. It really does take patience, planning and thought to throw a successful party! To make the most of your holiday party, skip the unnecessary plans and focus on the things that are most important. Here are 10 tips to ensure you throw a great party!
1. Have Fun.
Remember the reason for your Christmas parties and New Year’s bash, and all the get-togethers in between, is to spend time with family, friends and those you love. Don’t lose sight of that in the chaos of planning a get-together.
Throughout the planning, keep the focus on your guests and making sure they have fun and that you have fun, too. Nothing else really matters.
2. Communicate with your guests.
I. Let your guests know well in advance all the pertinent party details. This includes the time, place and menu. Be sure to include maps and directions. If your party is a potluck, make sure guests know what you’d like them to bring.
Give others jobs to do. Upon receiving an invitation, people will often ask, “How can I help?” Instead of saying you have it all taken care of, take your guests up on their kindness and ask them to help wherever you need it. Be sure to enlist the help of others in your household, kids included. And don’t be afraid to hire help, too, if you can’t get it all done alone. Don’t be fooled by the perfect you see on Pinterest or in magazines.
4. Have a menu.
Decide early on what you’ll be serving at your party so you’ll have time to gather all your ingredients and supplies. Make things easy on yourself and stick with the basic recipes. Stick with dishes that you’ve made before and that you know will turn out fabulous. Chances are, your guests will be expecting you to serve your signature dishes.
5. Have a plan.
This is not the time to fly by the seat of your pants. Spend some time making a list of all you need to get done before your party. Then, create a timeline based on that list. When making the timeline, it helps to work backwards. For example, if your party starts at 6 p.m. and your main dish takes three hours to cook, you need to have it in the oven by 3 p.m. and probably earlier. Be sure to build in break time for yourself so you’re not completely frazzled and exhausted when guests arrive.
6. Start with a clean slate.
Certainly, you should make sure your house is clean for your party. But you also want a clean slate in the kitchen: clear countertops, an empty dishwasher, a clean sink and a clean refrigerator. This will make your last-minute party prep go smoothly.
7. Set up ahead of time.
Don’t wait until the last minute to put out your centerpieces, candlesticks, decorations and serving pieces. Set them out ahead of time.
8. Designate a place.
Decide ahead of time where you’ll put guests’ coats and purses, plus any hostess gifts and food offerings they bring.
9. Have extras.
Make sure every bathroom in the house is stocked with toilet paper, soap and other necessities. Have extra paper towels and dish towels in the kitchen. Put extra hangers in the coat closet.
Have a good time. It’s a party. When you get overwhelmed during the planning phase, find a way to calm yourself down. Drink a glass of wine or a cocktail. Meditate. Pray. Veg out in front of HGTV. Whatever you need to do to relax.