Ready to host a fabulous holiday party in your lovely Elara home? We have you covered. We've compiled a few easy hosting tips that will help you create a delightful gathering for your guests and make you a staple of their December calendar for years to come.
This time of year, schedules fill up fast, so as soon as you know when you want to have a party, get the invites ready. Formal or not, use your invitation to set expectations about what guests should wear or if they should bring a dish or a plus one. Have a clear ending time, so they know the curfew and no one will be wondering if they’re overstaying their welcome.
You may think you’ll have time to clean, shop, decorate, and tidy up right before the party, but time slips away fast. If you have anyone to help, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. Cook and prepare most everything the day before so you can pop things in the oven or just take them out of the fridge ready to serve. Save yourself from the last-minute stress so you can have a clear head once your guests arrive.
Get out the speakers to play some uptempo seasonal music that sets the tone. Adjust accordingly for a good background volume that can help prevent awkward silences but won't drown out the conversation. While in general, it's best to pick tracks that aren’t too distracting, don't forget to throw in some songs that will get your guests singing along. Add to the playlist throughout the year when you hear a song that makes you imagine the vibe of your dream party.
After dinner, keep everyone engaged with a fun game. From Pictionary to ugly sweater contests, you’ll get everyone laughing and engaging with each other. If children are attending, have activities ready like coloring books, movies, or puzzles.
Pick a simple menu and be mindful of any dietary restrictions or flavors you know your guests would particularly love. For instance, you could incorporate a vegetarian dish that everyone would enjoy and not single anyone out. Save your successful recipes for the next party. For larger parties, now’s the time to save money by buying family size or bulk items. This may be the perfect time of year to have a Costco membership. You want to have enough food in case people want seconds, and if not, you’ll have dinner for the next day.
You may think you need to have a Pinterest-looking table to wow your guests, but don’t overthink it. Keep it festive, functional, and inviting. Stick to unscented candles and a color scheme. If you want to go all out, go for it, but good friends and close family won’t judge your paper napkins or notice that you didn’t use calligraphy on the place cards. It's always okay to optimize for fewer dishes! Not enough silverware for dessert? Pick a hand-held favorite like chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes.
It’s easy to get caught up in host duties and cleaning up, but your guests came to see you. Take a deep breath, put the dish wand down, and go mingle with your loved ones.
Commemorate the night with a group photo! How often do you get the whole gang together? Another fun idea is to print polaroids from your favorite moments with each person as a small keepsake for the night.
If you have a fireplace, take advantage of this perfect gathering spot and lead everyone here to wind down. Gracefully request a last call for coffee before everyone hits the road. Walk each guest to the door to say your goodbyes and hand them their coat. Tell them thanks and to drive safely (or help them coordinate an Uber) as you offer them a parting treat such as a wrapped chocolate or candy cane.