People want to gather during the holidays. Hosting and attending parties means late evenings dressed to the nines and spending time with the people you love the most. If it’s your turn to host the holiday shindig, chances are you want it to be a party people will remember for years to come. These tips will help you do just that.
Plan Your Menu Ahead of Time
Depending on how fancy you intend to go with your party, you’ll want to plan your menu several weeks in advance. This gives you time to hire a caterer or to clear a few days before the party to do the cooking yourself. This will also help you to spread out shopping, as you can purchase non-perishable items well in advance. In addition to the food menus, be sure to plan your drinks as well. A signature drink like the Absolut Cosmopolitan is a great choice. You can provide other liquor or allow your guests to bring their own for those who want something different.
Choose a Theme
Themed parties are almost always more memorable for people. Ugly holiday sweaters are a common theme for winter parties, but some other ideas include dressing as each other, holiday movie-themed costume parties, or even a “Halloween at Christmas” theme. If you are catering to a sophisticated crowd, such as company clients, consider a color theme and ask guests to dress in specific colors.
Find the Right Location
The location is just as important as the party itself. Somewhere too small will make everyone feel crowded and want to leave early. On the other hand, a venue that is too large will make the party look small and as if lots of people didn’t show up. You’ll also need to be sure to choose a central location that is convenient to most of the guests. Consider local event halls, hotel ballrooms, or similar spaces. Remember to choose a place that has kitchen access if you will need it. Nearby restrooms and a safe, well-lit parking lot are also important.
Include the Right Kind of Entertainment
The entertainment you choose for your party is an essential component. Is the party casual? If you have the money in your budget and the space to accommodate, consider hiring a DJ or live band that will play today’s hits or a curated holiday playlist. For smaller spaces or budgets, use Spotify or another music streaming service to curate your own playlist for the event. For larger but quieter events, such as dinner parties or fundraisers, a quieter playlist or single instrumentalist works. In addition to music, a casual event may lend its hand to fun holiday games like charades, relay races, or other types of icebreakers.
Give Everyone a Gift
After all, it is the holidays. If it’s in your budget, include a gift bag for everyone to take home. Think chocolates, small lotions, or other items that would easily fit into a stocking. If you don’t have the budget to create your own gift bags, host a gift exchange instead. Depending on the crowd, your exchange can be a traditional “Secret Santa” or a white elephant exchange. No matter which type of gift exchange you host, remember to pair people up, set a money limit, and purchase a couple of extra gifts just in case someone ends up not getting one.
This holiday season, planning your party in advance and thinking outside the box will help you create something that your guests will remember for years to come. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either. Part of the fun of planning a party is doing it with your friends!