Planning for your holiday party

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 circles!

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!

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