Fall is here; the leaves are starting to change, and the holiday season will soon be top of mind! If you’re planning a party, you can never be too prepared. Maybe you have already gotten a head start, or maybe you’re still collecting inspiration on your Pinterest board. Regardless of the current phase you’re in, feel free to take a look at our 10 tips for planning and hosting a stress-free holiday party.
1. Start with a list
You can’t plan without a to-do list or checklist. Here are a few items to keep in mind regardless of the holiday celebration you’re planning.
- Date and time
- Guest list
- Dress code
- Awards for corporate events
- Giveaways or party favors
2. Don’t go solo
You may be the main point person for your event, but that doesn’t mean you should fly solo! Whether you need to create a committee at work or call your cousin to tackle some of the tasks of hosting family, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You can also outsource! Find a team of seasoned event professionals who have hundreds of holiday parties under their belt and can help put it all into perspective and provide tips (Psst! We know a team like this).
3. Dare to be different
Every holiday party is not created equal! While we love to cater traditional parties and can do them well, not every holiday party has to be a sit-down plated dinner. Host a fun brunch with stations and pomegranate mimosas, invite friends over for a late-afternoon cocktail event with festive beverages and hors d’oeuvres, host a dessert party with martinis and chocolates—there are so many ways to spice up the celebration.
4. Think of a theme
No holiday party is complete without a theme! Creating a theme will give your guests an idea of what to expect and help you craft the event. Some fun ideas are Winter Wonderland with twinkling lights and white accents, frost & flannel, holiday movie themes—the list goes on!
If you’re in need of a good theme for your next event, take a look at some of our favorites!
5. Dazzle with décor
Décor is the easiest way to set the mood. If you’re coordinating an upscale evening, play around with the lighting by adding candles. If your event is sticking with the classics, grab poinsettias and garland to set the stage. With a winter theme, spread snowflakes everywhere and add silver accent centerpieces. Once you have your theme in place, the décor ideas to tie in the theme will come naturally!
6. Get creative with cuisine
Let’s be honest—many people go to holiday parties for the food! Here are some of our favorite creative menu items to add some flavor to your holiday party:
- White cheddar, cranberry and chipotle dip – Apple wedges, vegetables, pretzel bites and sliced mini baguettes
- Pecan crusted chicken tenders – With golden barbecue sauce
- Baked sweet potato mash – Topped with marshmallows, corn flakes and brown sugar
- Gourmet peppermint cookie – Chocolate cookie with crushed peppermint
That’s just the beginning! There are so many tasty options on our holiday catering menu.
7. Create crafty cocktails
One way to spice up a holiday party with minimal effort? Specialty cocktails! Consider a hot chocolate bar with specialty liqueurs to mix in, or a hot mulled cider that you can keep hot in a crockpot. If you are having a hosted bar, you can get even more creative with holiday-themed peppermint martinis, cranberry margaritas, rosemary collins and more!
8. Enlist entertainment
Take a look at who you’re inviting to the event to determine entertainment. Are you connected to a software company that creates video games? Coordinate gaming stations throughout the party to add a little friendly competition. Hosting a holiday brunch for all your closest friends? Create a custom hashtag and set up a selfie station with holiday-themed props. Do you know your employees love to bust a move? Get a local band to come and play for the evening!
9. Flavorful favors
Everyone loves to go home with a gift; it is the holiday season, after all! There are so many ways to ensure your guests feel appreciated without breaking the bank. Create their place cards with artisanal candy canes or a hot cocoa kit that they can take with them for a warm winter treat. The options are endless!
10. Don’t forget to have fun!
Last but certainly not least, ENJOY! It’s easy to let the stress get the best of you, but as long as you lean on others and follow your plan crafted with the above tips, it’ll be an event to remember.
Contact our team today to get started on planning and let us take some of that holiday party planning stress away from you!
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