Now that Thanksgiving is over and we find ourselves eating the last portions of leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, it’s also time to start planning upcoming holiday gatherings. Whether you’re throwing a party for your entire extended family or just responsible for bringing a dessert to your neighbor’s festive shindig, you might find the tips below helpful.
Let’s face it, we all go to parties with a common thought: what will there be to eat? Keeping it simple with small appetizers is an easy way to accommodate any number of guests. Try to serve foods that are easier to eat while standing and consider having a vegetarian option or two. Room temperature foods are great as well and require less attention once set out on the table or bar. In addition, try using smaller appetizer plates that hold less food so guests are less-likely to over-serve themselves or waste.
Even if your holiday party is BYOB, we suggest you still prepare your home with the basics. A selection of festive beers and wines are a good start, as well as sodas and juices to be used as mixers or for kids and designated drivers. If you’re supplying the bar, make sure your selection will please multiple taste buds and invest in disposable cups for easy cleanup.
Setting the mood for your party is vital. Dim the lights and use candles for simple ambiance. Subtle decorations, such as colorful garland and glass vases filled with ornaments or faux evergreen branches, can be an easy and affordable way to add extra cheer to your gathering. Have a playlist of music ready and on when your guests arrive – to save you time, try finding one that is pre-made on Spotify or Pandora.
Make sure you have a selection of team games and activities to break the ice between your mix of friends. Providing a photo booth with festive props is a sure way to allow your guests to capture memories and share laughs, making sure your party is never forgotten. Consider having a theme for the event, or encouraging people to go all out for an ugly sweater contest. You’d be surprised how many of your friends will show up dressed to participate.
When attending a party this holiday season, try not to go empty-handed. A bottle of wine is always an easy go-to and, if you know the host well, a more personal gift will really let them know you put thought into it. Desserts are also a good option because who doesn’t love sweets? If you’re not sure what to wear and the invitation didn’t specify a dress code, try dressing up a pair of jeans with a festive shirt or sweater, or dress to impress with a cocktail dress or slacks and a blazer.
If you’re in one of the southern states and are lucky enough to be able to host a party in your backyard, be sure to have your area sprayed by your local Mosquito Joe to ensure your guests aren’t itching their way out of your home. Be mindful of ticks as well, as they can also be a nuisance this time of year. We’d love to see photos of your upcoming holiday party and hope you have a great time with your family and friends this season!