LOL… listen… sharing is caring right? So I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks for hosting during the holiday season. Who doesn’t love a great party??
Once November first hits it seems like everyone you know is hosting some sort of get-together/party for the holidays. I get it.. I LOVE to host a holiday party. However, with so many different gatherings to attend, you want your party to stand out. You want your guests to not only have a good time, but also to tell other people WHY they had a good time and what they remembered. As a host, you’ll thrive off this. It’s how you know you’ve done your job 🙂 Not to say that you need people to rave about your party for validation, but it’s kind of like closing the deal in a sales job. You get a little taste of the adrenaline.. amiright?
Hosting a party can easily be broken down in to 3 main categories: food, drink and entertainment. In each category are my *personal* tips for how I set up to host any event in my home:
When it comes to food it’s easy to go one of two ways: a lot of variety or super simple aka pizza. Pizza is GREAT for small parties, especially those centering around football, game night, etc.
For holiday parties I recommend selecting 3-4 finger foods depending on how many guests you’ll have, and preparing enough of each to match. If people like something, they’ll keep it eating it. If they don’t, then it just sits there as a wasted food. Which brings me to my next point, simplicity. I know for some (especially myself!) it’s tempting to create a unique dish to wow your guests. Bad news, that isn’t typically what the people want! When you’re at a holiday party, replacing your dinner with finger foods and appetizers, you’re probably looking for familiarity. Something you can shovel down enough of convince your stomach that you’ve had a real meal. When this is the case, adventurous eating is not on the agenda. Like… hey there’s some sausage balls. I love those. I’ll eat 10 because I’m starving. See what I’m sayin? Easy peasy is the way to go. This will ensure that not only will your guests enjoy the food, but will also consume most of it and you don’t have to worry about food waste.
For cocktails/drinks my recommendation is exactly the same. 2-3, enough quantity to serve your guests for 3-4 hours, and a little variety. Something sweet, something fresh, and something standard. The risk you run with being adventurous with your cocktails is the same as with the food… if it’s not a hit with the guests you’re stuck with a ton of alcohol that you’ve already paid for, and nothing for your guests to drink. Just the thought gives me anxiety LOL…
Last, but not least, is entertainment. I’m not saying you have to have a set agenda, or hire a band, but you’ll need something to keep guests occupied if the conversation isn’t flowing (before the alcohol kicks in of course haaa). Start with a good, fun playlist that has a mix of different sounds. There are TONS of playlists online ready to go, or sample lists where you can get song ideas from to create your own.
The next thing would be, as a backup or even as part of the party, to have a game/competition. It should be something that does NOT people to sit down and participate for an extended period of time. The party will end just as quickly as it began… and if you’ve spent all this time gearing up for a great night no one wants that!
Some great ideas for games/entertainment are:
- White elephant
- Who am I? : each guest is given the name of a Christmas movie character that is then taped to their back. They can only ask each guest at the party 2 questions to try and guess who they are
- Ugly sweater competition: Once all guests have arrived, have them cast their vote for who has the best sweater an award a prize
- Team gift wrapping: split guests in to even teams, and have each team wrap up nominated member up like a gift. Whoever does the best job wins a prize (Host typically judges)
- Christmas themed scavenger hunt: for the ultimate party planner
Stay tuned later this week for my food and drink holiday guides! I’ll be discussing how to estimate your quantities as well as providing some of my favorite party recipes.
What are your favorite holiday party traditions?