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Monday, 08 November 2021 15:29

Earn the Title of Host(ess) with the Most(est) This Holiday Season!

Written by Valerie Cavooris, Marketing & Communications Manager
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2021 is coming to a close. The sun sets a little earlier each evening and the temperatures outside are dropping, but the air is teeming with a magical excitement that can only mean one thing: The holiday season is right around the corner! Calendars are filling-up with gift buying, family visits, travel plans, and of course holiday get-togethers.

Whether it’s a Friendsgiving feast or a New Year’s Eve all-nighter, everyone will most likely attend at least one festive bash this season. Maybe you throw a shindig every year, or maybe you want to try your hand at hosting for the first time this year. We have put together a few tips to make sure you are the host(ess) with the most(est) no matter how much party planning experience you have!


Pick A Theme… And Stick To It!

PartyPlanningBlog 2Choosing a color palette is easy when so many winter holidays have festive color schemes built right in!The idea of a “theme party” can conjure up images of a fraternity toga party, or a children’s birthday party. The truth is, a theme can be as subtle as a color palette. Choosing an appropriate theme for your party will actually make the rest of the planning much easier. Wading through the vast sea of decorations and other accessories to find what’s right for your gathering can feel overwhelming. When you have a theme in mind, you can significantly narrow your options and find your perfect décor more quickly and easily.

When it comes to holiday parties, the theme is often just the holiday itself! Even selecting your color palette is simplified as there are holiday hues associated with most winter festivities. Try some rich, warm jewel tones for Thanksgiving. Blue and white are great for a Chanukah celebration; red and green are perfect shades for a Christmas party. Classic silver and gold are natural choices for New Year’s Eve. If you’re throwing a generic winter holiday bash, look for icy blues, silvers, and white.

One important thing to keep in mind is consistency. When you select a theme, a color palette, and even a font or layout for printed materials… stick with it! Granted, it’s not always feasible to keep with a theme 100% (you don’t have to paint your walls!), but the more consistent you are, the more your desired atmosphere will permeate the entire affair.


Decorations & Dress-Up

PartyPlanningBlog 3Ugly Sweater parties are a hilarious holiday staple!When you have selected your theme and color palette, it’s time to hit the party stores! If you want custom décor, Etsy is a great place to start, and you’ll be supporting small creators. If Feeling crafty? You could try your hand at creating your own decorations. Nothing says “It’s the holiday season!” like a little sparkle, so feel free to add some shimmer and shine to your decorations!

What types of decorations you should choose depends upon the type of atmosphere you want to create. Is it a fun filled, family friendly bash, or a low-key dinner party for your inner circle? Streamers, balloons, and banners may seem like obvious must-haves when you’re throwing a party, but not all types of decorations lend themselves to every type of get-together. Don’t forget: For a holiday party, your traditional holiday decorations such as a Christmas tree, Menorah, or Cornucopia, will serve as part of the décor.

Depending on the party’s theme and the mood you want to create, you may ask your guests to dress a certain way. You could host a cocktail-attire affair, or an ugly sweater party. Maybe you’ll hold a New Year’s Eve masquerade. It’s okay to not expect any particular fashion choices from your guests. Most people will get a bit gussied-up for a holiday gathering anyway.




What’s On The Menu?

Making sure your guests are fed and happy is one very important part of party planning. The type of meal you have will depend on the atmosphere of your party, as well as the number of guests planning to attend. A sit-down, 3-course dinner for 30 people doesn’t seem practical, while a potluck for 5 of your closest friends probably won’t offer much variety.

If you are planning on serving food of any type at your gathering, it is very important to consider your guests’ dietary restrictions. It may be helpful to ask your invitees to list any dietary restrictions as part of the RSVP. Whether a guest’s food restrictions are a severe allergy or a matter of ethics, being respectful of everyone’s diet is paramount to being a gracious host.


Make ‘Em Laugh

PartyPlanningBlog 4A selfie booth with fun props is a low-maintenance way to keep guests engaged and to end up with a lot of amazing photos!Why do people go to a party? To socialize and have fun, of course! You know your friends and family best, so plan the party’s activities based on what you think people will enjoy. A low maintenance, self-serve activity – a selfie booth or polaroid camera station, for example – is a great option to help keep guests entertained without asking too much from the busy host(ess). Maybe your group will be happy to just gab the night away; throw on some festive background music, and let the conversation rule the evening!

A certain activity, such as a gift swap or watching the New Year’s ball drop, may be central to your party. If that’s the case, make sure to plan any meals and other activities accordingly to leave enough time for the main event.


The Devil’s in the Details 

When it comes to throwing a party, the thought and effort you put into even the smallest of details can make the difference between your guests having a great time, and your guests already looking forward to your next one. That’s not to say forgetting something minor will make or break your gathering – you’re only human! – But remembering a few key details will set your party apart from the rest.

Place Cards: If assigned seating works for your party, then place cards will help you to accomplish that! If a sit-down dinner is on your agenda, but you are not having assigned seats, garnish each place setting with a copy of the evening’s menu, or even just a welcome note.

Food Labels: At a buffet-style meal, making labels for each dish will change, “What’s that in the Crockpot?”to “Have you tried the buffalo chicken dip? It’s stellar!” For a potluck, ask your guests to commit to a dish with their RSVP so you can make the labels ahead of time. Labels are also a great way help those with dietary restrictions find the foods and drinks that are safe for them to consume. Pro Tip: Have some blank labels ready to handwrite in case of a last-minute change!

PartyPlanningBlog 5Going the extra mile with a few details can pay off in a big way.Hashtag: Create a clever hashtag that your friends can use on social media when they post their photos. Everyone will be able to see other guests’ photos simply by searching that hashtag. Make some signs displaying the hashtag to place around the party in strategic locations where everyone is sure to see.

Signature Drink: Is there a drink that just fits the mood of your party? Have a few mixed in advance, and keep the ingredients at the ready. Create a sign featuring the recipe so guests can decide if it’s right for them, or mix up their own if they are so inclined. If your drink is alcoholic, make sure to have a virgin version for minors and non-drinkers. Pro Tip: Print take-home recipe cards to place next to your display sign, so big fans of the drink can make one at home!

Party Favors: If it’s in your budget, sending your guests home with a little parting gift is always a nice touch. This not only lets your guests know how much you appreciate their coming during the busy holiday season, it will help them to remember your event long into the future, as well. Something simple like a seasonal scented candle makes for a perfect party favor.


Safety First

PartyPlanningBlog 1Set up a Zoom call so guests can celebrate with friends and family who couldn't attend.We are living in extraordinary times. With a global pandemic still very much at the forefront of everyone’s mind, some people may still be uncomfortable with the idea getting together in a large group. Consider setting up a Zoom call at a certain time during the party so that you and your guests can say hello to those who did not feel comfortable attending. It’s ultimately up to you to determine your own comfort level and to set guidelines which will ensure the health and safety of your guests.


Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear about some of your best party planning Pro Tips, or give us the rundown on the best shindig you’ve ever thrown. Will you be hosting this year? Share in the comments on this post!

Read 700 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 November 2021 12:27

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