The holiday season is coming up, and with that time comes plenty of opportunities for you to get together with friends and family to enjoy each other. If it's your turn to host one of the holiday get-togethers, you might begin to feel nervous as the season draws closer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can make the party you throw go more smoothly, be less stressful for you, and be even more fun for your guests. These are nine of the best tips around.
Have Plenty of Seating and Standing Space
If you're hosting a party in a house that's smaller than what you think you'll need for the number of people you're having over, you need to get a little creative with your space. Getting rid of furniture that's bulky but provides only small amounts of seating might be the best way to go. For instance, you could move the big sectional in your living room to the garage for the time being. Instead, use smaller chairs with cushioned seats to keep things comfortable for guests. You should also plan out the traffic flow if you think that you're going to have more people than your floor space could normally handle. Finally, think about a space for the kids, who usually want to play when they have the opportunity to be around their cousins or your friends' children.
Prep Ahead As Much As Possible
Whenever you're looking for a way to be prepared, you should look into finding a way to prepare food ahead of time. While there are some things, such as the ham and many of the other hot food items, that taste best when fresh, you can still prepare many of the salads, desserts, and appetizers at least a couple of days before you have your party. If you're making pickle, ham, and cream cheese rollups, it's super simple to make these several days before you have your entire group of friends and family at your house.
Suggest a Party Theme
Yes, we know that you might just go with Christmas or Thanksgiving as your theme, but it can also be fun to have a special theme so that everyone has an opportunity to show off their creativity and maybe even have a contest with it. For instance, ugly Christmas sweaters is a popular one. But you might have your guests do a whole slew of other activities, including coming up with their favorite holiday movie.
Keep Plenty of Drinks Around
There are only a few things that crash a party worse than running out of drinks. While you might not want to keep so many drinks around that you have guests drinking in huge excess, you also don't want to run out of festive and tasty treats. At the same time, you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen making drinks all night. So what are you supposed to do? There are a few tricks that you can incorporate to make sure that you have plenty on hand throughout the party. The first tip is to have plenty of pre-made options available.
Make a List
It's incredibly important to know that you have everything covered, and you'll feel more prepared if you have a list of everything you need to do, all the things you intend to buy, and all of the people you want to invite. This list is the perfect way to ensure you have everything set so you can be comfortable about having everything ready when your guests do finally arrive.
Have a Budget
While we all want to have a good time around the holiday season, money is one of the biggest things that people stress over during the holiday season. We're all spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on things related to the holidays, including gifts for other people and food. Set a budget so that you have one less reason to be stressed out. Then you need to hold yourself accountable to it.
Let Others Help
When you send out the invitations, don't be surprised if people start calling, asking if you want them to bring a side dish or their best cutout cookies, and you should let them help. It lets your guests feel a sense of pride when they see other people enjoying their contribution, and these seemingly small contributions can cut several hours off your prep time.
Have Trash Cans Within Easy Reach
The worst part about a party is the clean-up time. Save yourself at least some of the hassle by putting trash cans in strategic places around the rooms where you'll be having the party. If you have a trash can in plain sight, people are much more likely to decide to throw that paper plate away than if they must weave through lots of people to reach the trash can in the kitchen. Having plenty of places to through garbage away also frees your guests up to socialize with each other rather than search out a place to put their used Solo cups. Plus, you could cut out an hour or more of cleanup time when the guests leave.
Use an Itinerary
When you host a holiday party, you’ll probably have a few activities planned. There's nothing worse than realizing you're way behind schedule and people are starting to leave before you've been able to get to some of the best stuff. If you're having a party and will be doing a white elephant gift exchange or some other well-loved game after dinner, make sure that you have allowed for plenty of time.
Hosting a holiday party is a lot of work, but you can make it more enjoyable for your guests and yourself if you have an idea of what you want to accomplish and some ways that you can make it easier on yourself. Use these ideas to make your holiday party more comfortable and fun for your guests and yourself. Happy holidays indeed!