Is the thought of planning and preparing a holiday party at home giving you a headache?

The point of holiday parties is to spend time with family and friends. When hosting one, the key is to keep it simple. You only need a guest list with people you really want to spend time with, food you know how to prepare well, good music and some simple holiday decor.

Let this list guide you to a stress-free, festive holiday party:

  1. Keep the guest list manageable. The number would depend on how many people you can comfortably fit in your home. Make the party interesting by inviting a mix of old and new friends. Remember to invite early as people’s holiday schedule is usually tight.
  2. Once your invitees have RSVP’d, call back to see if anyone has any food allergies or strong dislikes.
  3. For a festive atmosphere, take time to decorate your home. Display your holiday ornaments where everyone can see them. Dress up your space with green garlands, floral arrangements in deep, rich hues, pine-cones sprayed in metallic colours, some sparkly tinsel and pretty ornaments hung on doorknobs. A bowl filled with bright, colourful ornaments makes a great centerpiece. A bouquet of fresh flowers brightens up any room.
  4. Fill the air with holiday cheer by playing upbeat and uplifting tunes. Create a playlist before the party, with a mix of your all-time favourite holiday tunes and current popular party tunes.
  5. Encourage your guests to mingle. Introduce them to each other by finding things they have in common.
  6. Prepare a simple meal with a salad, a main dish with rice, pasta, or potatoes, and two different coloured vegetable dishes. Don’t forget the dessert! Choose recipes that can be made ahead of time. Make a couple of your signature recipes, and order the rest from your favourite deli or restaurant.
  7. The holidays give us an excuse to give in to our chocolate indulgence. Set up a hot chocolate bar with oversized marshmallows and peppermint candy cane toppings. Or you can have fun fondue stations. Everyone’s favourite plain desserts like brownies, cookies and cupcakes can be topped with creamy dark and white chocolate frosting, or dusted with powdered sugar or candy sprinkles.
  8. Set up a self-serve drinks station with both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options.
  9. Resist cleaning while the party is ongoing. It’s okay to stack glasses and plates on trays and place them in the kitchen, but not washing a few dishes or sweeping up bits and pieces behind guests.Clear as much clutter as possible to leave open areas for putting down food and drinks.Turn off the bright overhead lights and bring out your amber glass votive holders to give off a warm, cozy glow. Clusters of candles create a striking effect.

In planning and preparing a holiday party, you don’t need to do everything yourself. Ask help from family members or close friends. Or hire expert help from Delegate.

Enjoy the party! Happy holidays!

(Image Credit: Holiday Party)