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Hosting family and friends at your home during the holidays can be overwhelming. But with a little planning and the right attitude, you can plan a holiday party without the extra stress. Today we’re sharing five tips that will help you plan a simple, beautiful, and fun celebration for family and friends.
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1. Prep Your Space
One of the most stressful factors when hosting a holiday party is getting your house into shape beforehand. Remember that the socializing will take place in the living area and the kitchen and that you’ll need to have a restroom available to guests. That narrows it down to three rooms to straighten up. For rooms that you don’t have time to clean, or just don’t want people wandering into, turn off the lights and close the door.
After you’ve cleared the clutter, get your rooms ready for guests. Pull together tables and use coordinating Christmas decor to create consistency between rooms. Seating can often be an issue; think about moving furniture around to accommodate a sit-down dinner, if you’re having one. Be sure that there are easy paths to prevent anyone from tripping while making their way around the room. Finally, create spaces for conversation by repositioning seating.
2. Rethink the Holiday Menu
When you’re hosting a large group, it can be difficult to plan a menu that will make everyone happy. Keep it simple by serving dinner buffet style. Choose an easy-to-prepare main dish, like maple glazed ham, and some favorite holiday sides like mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Don’t be afraid to mix in a few store-bought items, either. They’ll save you time and valuable oven space.
Want to cut down on food prep and create a more casual holiday party? Skip the formal dinner and serve appetizers instead. Prepare a few of your own recipes that will appeal to your guests, then put together a veggie tray and cheese platter. Encourage guests to bring their favorite snack or signature appetizer to round out the menu.
3. Don’t Play Bartender
As the holiday party host, you shouldn’t feel the need to stand at a counter or bar mixing drinks all night. Rather than creating a custom cocktail for every guest, mix up some serve-yourself drinks ahead of time. Fill a punch bowl, use a drink dispenser, or even make a warm drink in your slow cooker. Try out one of these recipes that can be made before your party.
4. Keep Decor Simple
Use the rule of “less is more” when decorating for your get-together. The Christmas tree will most likely be the focal point of the room, so choose a color scheme for your decorations and start with the tree. Simple white lights and ornaments in just two or three colors will create an elegant look. Use those same colors throughout the space.
Throughout the rooms where you’ll be entertaining, add a few decorative details that will make your space sparkle. A few glass bowls of ornaments, vases of branches, and wreaths on the doors will do the trick.
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We all know that one person who seems to be able to put together a party at the drop of a hat that rivals Martha Stewart. Don’t compare yourself to that person. Instead, embrace some old traditions, create your own new traditions, and have some fun.