Have your friends convinced you to host a last minute holiday party at your home this year, but you don’t know where to start? We’re here to help with a few, easy tips to make sure that you’re able to host a great, hassle-free and fun party!
1. Shopping: Shopping for your holiday party can be the most intimidating part about hosting a gathering at your home. To minimize your stress, and the number of stores you need to visit, there are a few things you should do before you head out to shop for your party. Firstly, shop your home. Take a peek in your cabinets and take inventory of what you already have and then make a list of what you need (festive napkins, plates or last minute ingredients). You may have forgotten about those holiday napkins you have left over from last year’s party and now you won’t over-buy. Next, set a budget. Rather than going to the store blindly, without any sort of budget set in mind, determine what you want to spend on the party as a whole so that you have no regrets afterwards.
2. Decorating: When it comes to the holidays, the possibilities for decorations can seem endless. Right now, stores are filled with festive decor so it can be a daunting task when deciding which elements to incorporate into your holiday party. There are a few ways to ensure that your guests are in the holiday spirit that are easy and won’t cost a ton of money. To immediately set the mood, save some of your Christmas lights for indoors this year. Simply drape them over a window pane or along a shelf. Try using seasonal vegetables and fruits to decorate because it’s simple and doesn’t take too much planning since your local grocer is usually near by (we love Harris Teeter because it’s right next door!). You can incorporate cranberries, oranges, or lemons into your table settings.
3. Cooking: Don’t overwhelm yourself and pick just a few recipes. You guests will appreciate having just a few options that are done really well; it’s all about quality over quantity. So, be sure to pick 2-3 recipes to ensure that you won’t be in the kitchen for too long. Also, if you can, start the cooking the day before. If you have vegetables to prep, a holiday cocktail to mix, or meat to season, get a head start on the prep work long before your guests arrive. There are many items that will hold up well over night in the refrigerator. If you’re worried about cooking, there’s no shame in picking up pre-made food either, like wings from Buffalo Wild Wings or sandwiches from Taylor Gourmet. To make them look a little more “home-made,” just throw away any boxes and display them neatly on your own serving platters.
4. And, lastly, make sure to have fun! Happy Holidays!