The Christmas season brings out the festive side of people. It’s a time for celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. For many, the very idea of hosting a party is a stressful one. If you have wanted to host a party but have held off because you do not know where to begin, follow this simple guide to hosting a stress free party.
How to Plan a Holiday Party
The hardest part to many things is actually getting started. The same is true when planning a party. Questions like what is the right day and time, what kind of food and drinks to have and who to invite, are enough to make a person feel overwhelmed.
There are three basic steps that are crucial to a successful party. Once these are set, the rest of your planning will be effortless.
Decide What Type of Party to Host
The first step to planning a successful party is to decide upon the type of party that you will host. This is one of the key factors in party planning and sometimes one of the more difficult aspects. Christmas parties offer a wide variety of options such as:
- Cocktail Party
- Intimate Dinner Party
- Buffet Dinner Party
- Tree Trimming Party
- Gingerbread House Building Party
- Cookie Exchange
- Dessert Party
- Open House
A theme will help dictate the time of day and type of food and drink that you select.
Plan a Day and Time for Your Party
Once you have decided on the type of party that you are going to host, look at your calendar and chose a day that is best for you. When choosing your day, be sure to select one that does not have too much activity surrounding it. Try your best to have the day or evening prior to the get-together free from other commitments. This will give you plenty of time for any last minute preparations, without the stress of worrying about having a chance to take care of them.
Once you have chosen a day, consider the time carefully. This will be dictated by the theme that you chose, but be sure to consider the time of day that best suits not only the theme, but you and your family. For example, if you are having an intimate dinner party and have small children in the house, it is best to set a start time at least an hour after the children are put to bed. This will allow you to get them down well before the party begins, and give you plenty of time to attend to any last minute details.
Plan the Food Around a Theme
The type of party that you choose will obviously narrow down the food that you select. For example, if you opt to have a cocktail party, platters of appetizers and one or two hot dishes work best. To make your food choices even easier, decide upon a “theme within a theme” for your party. For example, plan a wine tasting and offer wines and cheeses by country. Another example is to choose a regional food, like Italian cuisine. Offerings of cold and hot antipasto, cheeses like Parmigano, Asiago and Mozzarella, and hot pasta are all easy to prepare in advance and allow you to keep your focus tight.
Planning, hosting and catering your own Christmas party can be easy and stress free. Once you pick a theme, day and time and menu, the rest will fall into place!