Watch & Learn
Break out the ugly sweaters, dust off last year’s decorations and organize your Evites—it’s officially holiday party season! While throwing a holiday party can be a delight, it can also be a disaster if you don’t prepare for a few worst-case scenarios. To avoid some embarrassing mistakes that could ruin your party planning career well past Valentine’s Day, here are some tips for holiday entertaining that are sure to set you up for seasonal success!
1. Don’t Go Without a Theme
Having a theme for your holiday party is the best way to create a cohesive, entertaining experience. Choosing a simple, easy-to-follow theme like “ugly sweaters,” “silver and gold,” or “classic holiday films” helps you decide what food and drinks to make, what decorations and place settings to use, and helps your guests feel like they’re involved before the party even starts.
2. Don’t Ignore Dietary Restrictions
If you’re throwing a relatively large party, odds are there will be some guests with certain dietary restrictions. If at all possible, find out ahead of time and prepare accordingly. If you can’t, be sure to have at least one vegetarian, one gluten-free, and one vegan dish on deck just in case.
3. Don’t Forget to Test New Recipes
Trying a new recipe this holiday season? Great! But be sure to do a test-run a couple of weeks before your party to make sure these new dishes match your theme, are feasible to create in the time you have allotted, and, of course, taste delicious. This year, try out some no-cook party finger foods or a booze-filled dessert to really wow your guests.
4. Don’t Force Fun
Being a good host means making sure your guests are having a good time, but don’t go out of your way to make people interact or participate. Feel out the vibe of the crowd and you’ll know whether or not you should start a holiday game, seasonal sing-a-long or just let everyone mix, mingle and be merry.
5. Don’t Leave Out The Kids
If children are invited to your holiday party, don’t just set them up in another room watching "Elf" — not the whole time, at least. Involve them in a portion of the night with an ornament decoration station or game the whole party can enjoy, like holiday charades. You can even keep them occupied all night long with an elf-on-the-shelf themed scavenger or treasure hunt.
6. Don’t Overindulge
It’s your party, you can drink and eat if you want to. But try not to do so to such an extent that you can’t interact and be involved in your party the entire night! Pace yourself so you don’t end up in a food coma in bed before your last guest leaves.
7. Don’t Under-Indulge
It’s your party, you can drink and eat if you want to! Hosting a party isn’t all work and no play. Give yourself time throughout the night to be present with your friends and family and really appreciate the time and effort that you put into throwing the party. Plus, don’t forget to enjoy all the delicious food and drinks you made!
Whether playing host or attending a potluck, discover a wide assortment of fresh, delicious, party-ready delights in our Holiday Entertaining Guide!
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