When you’re in charge of entertaining for the holiday season, all you need is creativity and enthusiasm to pull together a party that truly sparkles! If you plan ahead and get started with party-prepping early, you’ll have enough time to enjoy the festivities as soon as your guests start to filter in. You’ll need to make arrangements for food, pick out a few games to keep guests entertained, and decorate your space for a big holiday welcome! Below are some tips on getting everything organized for a festive, unique, and memorable holiday celebration.
Food for the Holidays
Planning your holiday menu is one of the best parts of entertaining, and you can be as creative as you want to with a theme or just a collection of your favorite holiday recipes. The most popular food choice for large groups is an assortment of appetizers and hors‘deouvres, or a buffet-style setup where guests can enjoy smaller portions of all dishes. You’ll need to arrange for tables and a drinks counter so guests can navigate their way through the area with ease.
If you’re planning to cook yourself, you’ll need to compile recipes and buy ingredients at least one week ahead of party time. It’s a good idea to read through all recipes you’ve never made before, and make sure you don’t need to prepare anything ahead of time. Make some space in the refrigerator or freezer as your cooking and baking gets underway; you can start storing each dish so it’s ready for presentation on the day of the event!
If you’re planning on having food catered, you’ll need to make reservations at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Most catering companies are booked well before holiday season, so shop around for the best arrangements and have everything delivered to your home early in the morning of party day.
Another option for food is to ask guests to bring a dish to pass. A potluck-style event will let everyone pitch in with their favorite dish, and you can have guests request to bring something when they R.S.V.P to your invitation.
Décor and Holiday Decorations for Your Home
Holiday decorating can start well before Thanksgiving, but if you’ve got a theme picked out for your holiday event, you can start preparing your living space with décor 2-3 days in advance. Round up some friends to help you if you’ve got a larger space; this can save you time and also gives you a reason to enjoy each other’s company! Popular holiday themes include: Winter Wonderland, Christmas in Hawaii, Snowflakes, Santa’s Workshop, Ice Skating, or Angels. You can get even more creative with decorating your holiday tree in a special theme and featuring it as the centerpiece of your living area.
Spend at least a day at the craft store to pick out some unique accessories, decorative accents, and even a few gifts. Craft stores are the perfect place to find a great deal of fabric and random accents that you can use in a creative way!
Entertaining Guests for the Holiday Party
Entertaining guests is one of the most challenging parts of the holiday party, but you can have some fun with it and organize a few games and contests as part of your event. Classic board games work out great for larger groups, so leave a few board games out on the coffee table for guests, or host an ‘official’ game where you divide up the group into teams. Party games might also include holiday trivia, or variations of classic kids’ games: Pin the Tail on Rudolph, a Christmas candy-filled piñata, or even a scavenger hunt are just a few ideas that will keep everyone in a merry mood, and help you create a fun and memorable event!
Don’t forget to include some fun prizes for all guests. A small bag of holiday cookies are a great party favor that you can hand out as guests leave for the night. Just add a card with a holiday greeting for that final touch that everyone will remember for years to come.
From planning the menu with tasty treats, to decorating your space with a unique theme, holiday entertaining is easy and fun with a little organization. Round up some friends and family members to help you create a unique event this year—a group effort is a great way to spend time with loved ones, and look forward to your party in the process!
Article Written By: Sabah Karimi; Sabah writes on style, fashion and beauty for DivaVillage. When she’s not organizing her next party, you’ll probably find her shopping for the latest trends and products.