Christmas is only about a week away, and many people are hosting
Christmas parties in their homes for friends, co-workers and
family. Some even have multiple events to cater to their different
With hosting any event in your home comes the pressure to create
a great experience for your guests. From the food, to music and
decor, all of these elements together can make for one amazing
party that your guests will be talking about for months. But this
doesn't come without careful planning and savvy budgeting.
Here are some of my tips to help you have a stress-free holiday
party this Christmas season:
Plan Your Menu - Knowing what you'll be serving
to your guests will help you to stick to your budget. Is it a
cocktail party or a 4-course dinner? Take the time to write out
your menu ideas and list the ingredients you will need to create
your meals. The rule is about 3-4 pieces of hors d'oeuvres and
about 4 oz of protein per guest.
BYOB or W - Most guests come bearing a small
gift for the host. I often will ask guests to bring their favorite
inexpensive bottle (or bottles) of wine or beer to contribute to
the occasion. This helps to get your guests involved in a small way
and increases interaction during the party. But, do not rely solely
on your guests to supply the booze. Make sure that you have
inventory of your own. The rule is about 2-3 glasses per guest.
Know Your Audience - When creating your
playlist, take some time to think about who your guests are. Are
you inviting your Pastor's family and church workers, friends from
college, your conservative parents or co-workers? Music can help
create a nice vibe during your event, so choose wisely!
Stay Ahead of Schedule - If you are choosing to
create most of the meals yourself and not cater, do yourself a
favor and begin your food prep 1 - 2 days ahead of the party. Same
thing goes for decoration. Bring out your China, polish your
silverware, and lay out the candles at least one day before the
party. This will help you save some time and relieve you from
running around like a crazy person the day of the event (which will
happen anyway), but at least it's less intense.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - In the end, some
things will go wrong. But do not fret. Your guests probably won't
even notice that you didn't have matching plates or that you your
dinner rolls are store-bought. The point to hosting an event in
your home is to show your loved ones that you appreciate and care
about them. So, have fun!
Simple cooking for busy families.
See more of Johanna's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.