‘Tis the season! Regardless of religious affiliations and cultural customs, chances are you and your loved ones will be celebrating one or more holidays in the coming weeks. That means tasty treats, festive drinks, colorful lights, and plenty of gifts.
It also means attending and possibly hosting one or more holiday parties. They’re a great way to share good times and spread good cheer during this special time of year.
Are you gearing up to host a holiday party soon? If so, you’ll want to make sure you get everything right. With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven steps for planning the perfect holiday party.
Send your party invitations early
The earlier you send party invitations, the better. That’s because most of your would-be guests will be invited to multiple parties this holiday season. You’ll want them to commit to yours before agreeing to attend another one happening at the same time. We suggest sending invitations three weeks before the party date. That gives people plenty of time to plan ahead – including yourself.
Pick a party theme
The best parties tend to stick to a specific theme. With that said, there’s no need to overthink this step. Simply selecting a general design scheme is enough to establish a sufficient party theme. For instance, you could decide on plaid or evergreen-inspired decor. Perhaps you’d prefer a snowy motif? Feel free to get creative, but the simpler your theme, the easier it will be to find appropriate baubles and other decorations.
Know your budget
Your party budget can be whatever you want. However, we’re willing to bet you’ve got limited funds to spend on a single night of fun. With this in mind, establish a realistic budget before moving on to the shopping phase. Put the budget to the side and compile a list of must-haves alongside optional add-ons. Crunch the numbers to determine how much of each you can afford without going over your set budget.
Stock up on rum and other spirits
Not every holiday party includes alcohol, but most do. If you plan on providing guests with an open bar, it’s essential to stock up on gin, rum, whiskey, and vodka. Consider making rum popsicles and other novelties ahead of time. Picking up a pack of beer wouldn’t hurt, either. That way, your guests have access to quick-service options in addition to carefully mixed cocktails.
Provide plenty of food and refreshments
Your party spread should feature a balance of sweet and savory foods. Consider using toothpicks to make it easier for guests to eat without getting their hands dirty. You can’t go wrong by sticking to popular hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Examples include pigs in a blanket, meatballs, spanakopitas, cookies, cakes, and brownies. If you know there will be one or more vegans or vegetarians in attendance, make sure to offer meat and dairy-free options.
Fill the air with music
Nobody wants to stand around in awkward silence. Rather than force guests to keep talking to fill the air, keep it filled with nonstop music. Classic holiday tunes are fine, but you and your guests might be sick of hearing them by the time the party date arrives. With this in mind, consider a slightly offbeat playlist. Consider starting off with the holiday standards and transitioning to more thrilling beats as the party atmosphere picks up momentum. That way, you provide guests with a healthy dose of Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey before moving on to The Weeknd and Lady Gaga.
Make room for dancing
Where there’s music, there’s the desire for dancing. If you know your guests love to dance, make sure you make enough space for a dance party. Consider moving your coffee table into a spare room to open up the living room for dancing. You’ll want to also make sure any lamps, vases, and other fragile items are moved out of harm’s way.
Are you planning on hosting a party during the holidays? If so, you want it to be perfect. Making that wish come true is easier said than done. Fortunately, it’s far from impossible.
Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. He enjoys writing about history, movies, and sports. Michael can be reached at [email protected].