The holiday season is officially in full swing, and if you’re like many people, you’re hosting friends and loved ones at some point in the next couple of months. Whether you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or anywhere in between, essential items are necessary to make your event a success. From relaxed, informal get-togethers to elevated, black-tie affairs, keep reading for all the essentials that will make you the best host possible.
Nail the Invite
With communication at the tip of our fingers these days, the lost art of a formal invitation is falling by the wayside, but that doesn’t make it right. Studies show receiving personalized mail makes the recipient feel special and has mental health benefits. This year, nail the invitation game by curating a paper invitation to send your guests, including the time and date, and setting the tone for your party. If you must do a digital invite, utilize apps and websites that let you design and send personalized invitations and make RSVPing easy.
Options for Everyone
A good host anticipates everyone’s needs and creates an atmosphere where each guest will be comfortable. Options make this easy, especially if you plan them. Gluten-free and vegan options are a must and appreciated by those with dietary restrictions. When browsing a liquor store online for ingredients for your party’s signature drink, purchase items to make a virgin version. The devil is in the details, and your guests will appreciate your planning and choices.
Kid Friendly Distractions
The holidays are hectic for many people, so finding a babysitter for an event is only sometimes feasible. Or perhaps the party you are hosting will include children anyway. Having ways to keep kids entertained during the party lets their parents and other adults relax and enjoy the moment more. This element is a must and can be done through games, movies on queue, and delicious kid-approved snacks.
The holidays are one of the most magical times of the year, so make sure you keep that ambiance with your party. Depending on which part of the season, you may not have your Christmas twinkling lights up, but whether it’s Thanksgiving or New Year, you can easily set the tone with scented candles. For a more elevated aesthetic, neutral white and cream-colored candles in cloches are a beautiful touch. If you’re hosting a formal sit-down dinner, tapers in candlesticks are a classic look that never goes out of style.
Cozy Throw Blankets
Even if your invitations specified an end time to the event, some of the best parties naturally flow much later into the night. Make sure your lingering guests are comfortable by thoughtfully setting beautiful throw blankets throughout your home. This thoughtful gesture lets them enjoy conversations and companionship into the evening, from Adirondack chairs on the back patio to the formal living room. Faux fur and thick knit throw blankets also serve as holiday decorations.
Festive Food Colors
No matter what you’re serving at your event, incorporate the colors of the holidays into your food preparation. Consider adding bright red peppers, green olives, and other seasonal-colored items to a charcuterie board. You can also garnish with traditional holiday items, like sprigs of pine surrounding the trays and bowls of appetizers. If your event includes main courses, this can be overlooked, but the grazing foods like appetizers take center stage while guests mingle and should reflect the party’s theme, even minimally.
Uber’s on Hand
One of the most important things you can do during the holidays as a host is to ensure you get your guests home safely. Especially on evenings like New Year, accidents happen. Have a system in place to determine if people are safe to make it home; if not, call them an Uber or drive them yourself. Celebrating with our loved ones is one of the most joyful things in life, but it’s important to remember to celebrate the holidays responsibly.
While the theme of your party, how you decorate your home, and your dress code are highly personal, the above items are essential for every host or hostess. Get the most out of your holiday party by including them on your planning list. Cheers!