The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s party time! If you have the budget, you can always hire a caterer to make, bring, and serve your food and drinks, and be done with it. But for those of us who are more “hands on” when it comes to party planning, we have some tips to help make your holiday party a smashing success.
- Get by with a little help from your friends. The great thing about friends is that you probably have a few who love to help. Why not recruit those wonderful people to help execute some of the details of your party, like manning the drink station or mingling with the crowd and handing out snacks? This accomplishes a couple of things; it keeps everyone from converging in the kitchen, and it takes some of the responsibility off your shoulders. This way, you actually get to enjoy your own party instead of spending the entire time working.
- Keep your menu simple. Let’s face it, not everyone has Martha Stewart’s mad skills when it comes to whipping up something magical in the kitchen. Even she says to keep things simple if this is your first soiree. Stick to what you know when deciding on what to prepare. Consider a menu of finger foods instead of multiple dishes that require utensils (think easier cleanup!) Now is not the time to try out a fancy new dish, just in case it doesn’t turn out to be everything you hoped for.
- Streamline the bar. It’s a universal truth that after politely greeting the host, most guests tend to make a beeline for the bar. Simplify drink orders with a streamlined bar. Offer a single pre-made signature cocktail, wine, and beer. Prepare a batch of your special drink ahead of time and serve in pitchers or a large glass dispenser with spigot. Set out a small sign to let guests know what they’re drinking.
- Plan ahead. Prepare as much as possible the day before, so that you’re not spending all day in the kitchen. The day of the event, start cooking in the morning and leave yourself time to put on your party clothes before that first guest arrives. You don’t want to be answering the door in your sweats!
- Make room for coats. Since it is winter, you will likely have an array of coats, wraps, purses, and bags your guests will need to deposit somewhere. If you have a coat closet, clean it out prior to your party so your guests can use it. If not, clear the bed or closet in the guest room and direct people to place their belongings in that room.
- Create ambiance. Set a relaxed mood for your guests. Set out clusters of unscented votive candles near the food and bar. You don’t have to break the bank on decorations to achieve a festive look. Flowers in a vase, a poinsettia or two on the hearth or by the front door, a wreath hung over a mirror or window, and perhaps a few pretty ornaments hung from door knobs or lamp knobs are small touches that can make a big impact.
- It’s not a party without music. Create a playlist before the party, so you don’t spend your time playing DJ. A mix of holiday favorites and jazz standards, or a Pandora holiday station is sure to help set the party mood and fill in any lulls in conversation.
- Take it away! Stock up on inexpensive plastic containers or cardboard take out boxes so your guests can take any leftovers home. This not only means less mess for you to clean up, but allows your guests a little treat for later.
When all is said and done and the last guest has gone, tidy up a bit, check the carpet for food or wine stains and treat them immediately, take out the trash, then take a breather. As long as food is put away, the rest can wait for morning. Allow yourself time to wind down and reminisce about how awesome your party was for a few minutes, but don’t worry about putting everything back the way it was right away. If you want a beautiful new home to throw a grand holiday party in, call Jayden Homes at (719) 535-9030. We will help you build your custom dream home in Colorado Springs!