Hello everyone! I hope you had just fabulous holiday weekend. With the jump into a busy and festive couple weeks I thought I would give a few tips on how to throw an awesome holiday party. (Pics will be from a Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving Party I helped planned) but can be easily applied to a Christmas get together as well.
Okay so first off I love planning and staging a party. Going to and/or running said party not so much. I love make things look pretty and over the top(which ya will see) fun, but hosting… Yeah can someone else do that? But in the end my desire to plan a party normally overrides my introverted-ness. Not always(looking at you Pumpkin Carving Party- ah maybe next year) but sometimes.
My Checklist for over-the-top-party- mania!
I mean why wouldn’t I write this post like my others… checklists, bullet points… I like lists. Moving on!
- Pick a theme or activity–
This is normally my first step in party planning or else I drive myself crazy with options, because I want to do all the things. So really just focus on narrowing down your options. Examples of a Christmas Party Theme could be:
- Ornament Making Party
- Gingerbread House Party
- Christmas Movie Night
- Victorian Themed Costume Party
- Christmas Cookie Night
- Christmas Art Night
- Christmas Caroling Party
- Tree Trimming Party
So these are just a few options to tumble around in your brain. And just because you pick one doesn’t mean you can’t combine it will another. You could have friends over to go caroling in your neighborhood or apartment building and then come back for hot cocoa and reading of your favorite Christmas books. And though while I am specifically talking about parties at your house(or apartment) you could skip having people over and go ice skating with friends or to look at the Christmas lights. See my mind is already overflowing with all the things.
Once you have your theme/activity picked out it really helps narrow down your other planning details. Let’s tackle my favorite point next…
- The Fixings-
Anytime you have a group of people together ya need food. Now this(like picking a theme) can be overwhelming, because there are so many options! So again really narrow those options down. Do you want to serve a full fancy meal?(Victorian Costume Christmas Party anyone?) Or do you want something more laid back? Just do little weenies and meatballs and other o’derves? And if food really ain’t your thing you can always do the “everyone bring something to share” routine.
But don’t be afraid to go over the top here folks. I personally love tying my food options into my theme. So like the Thanksgiving Party I knew we were doing a fancy catered meal, which translated into laying a very fancy table spread.
So like a Christmas party you may want to do a Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board. Or any kind of Charcuterie boards really. Cheese and crackers, build-your-own sugar cookie board, Christmas cookie board, etc. Pinterest had so many gorgeous ideas. And no only do these boards taste amazing, but they look amazing and almost decorative. Below are two boards I have done in the past(one for Thanksgiving and one for my sister’s baby shower. Again I go over the top so these are a bit extreme)
I honestly could go on and on talking about food. I mean I love to cook so I tend to try and make my things homemade, but even if you(like my sister) can’t cook or bake to save your life by a prepared try or meal at the store. Both Sam’s Club and Costco have really cool options. But let’s move on or we’ll just stay here forever.
- The trimmings and trappings–
So probably my second favorite thing to plan for a party after food is the decorating. Growing up my Mom loved to decorate! In that over the top way I have learned so well. Our house was called the “decorated house” since it literally looked looked like a Better Homes and Gardens catalog. But at now time did my Mom decorate more than at Christmas time. Our whole house became stuffed(in a good way) with the Christmas season. I have followed my Mother’s footsteps happily(as have all my sisters- it’s a blessing and a curse)
That being said decorating is just natural to me. For the Thanksgiving Party I literally used my own decor from my apartment. But I realize that might not be everyone’s strong suit, so here are just a few small tips to hopefully help with the confusion of staging and decorating:
- Little details add up-
- Everyone loves a party favor-
- Music sets the mood-
- Candles and smells bring warmth-
- Food can be used as decor-
- Use what you already have-
- Just Be You!
My final and probably most important point is just do you. You do not have to throw the most amazing Christmas party ever. Even if you did no body might show up or the food may burn or your tree fall over. The point is it is not going to be perfect. And you’ll only ruin the party for yourself if you try to make it perfect.
If big groups aren’t your thing don’t have a crap ton of people over. Just a few friends for hot cocoa and puzzles and Christmas music can be just as good as a big group for ornament making, food eating night.
If you don’t have money to spend on the trimmings and trappings skip them. Turn on your favorite Christmas playlist and bring on the snacks and games.
Stop setting yourself up and trying to be that perfect host. Just enjoy the friends and the fellowship. Let’s do this!
Lots of love,