The Huffington Post suggests to get started by writing down your goals. Think about the kind of holiday vibe you want. Are you looking for something traditional or alternative and playful with a modern touch? This will help you in deciding Christmas decorations and meals.
Make sure to give yourself enough time for preparations and organization. Use apps like Pro Party Planner and Wunderlist that help organize to-do lists and tasks, such as picking up necessary ingredients. Don’t forget:
- It’s ok to delegate tasks to others. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to do and think of everything, but involving friends and family in the process will not only help take some of the burden off, but it encourages others to participate and feel involved.
- Have an approximate guest list and check cutlery, furniture, chairs, and place settings, to ensure you have enough for the potential guests.
- Holiday calendars fill up quickly, so make sure to notify and sent out invitations early.
Dress up your House
Once you’ve envisioned and made a list of themes you want, look for DIY ideas for decorations. Online resources such as Pinterest can have plenty of creative ideas to get you started. For example:
Preparing your First Big Holiday Meal
Whether it’s a traditional holiday brandied ham or an intricate, elegant plate of creamy shrimp picata, your first holiday meal is enough to put a world of pressure on you. Make time to get ingredients with a few days in advance. Embrace cooking with friends and family the day before, ask others to help, and give yourself time so you’re not feeling rushed. Use the tools to organize yourself and spread the work out over a couple of days, rather than the day of the party.
Be Prepared for the Veggie Lovers Among You
It’s always a good idea to have some alternative options for guests with different dietary restrictions or preferences. There is surely to be a vegetarian or vegan among your friends, or maybe even someone with a nut or gluten allergy, so prepare adequately by offering a different option. The internet has an endless source of recipe options to choose from. Alternatively, you can reach out to your guests with special dietary needs and get their input. They might protest, but encourage them to share their preferences so you can provide an inclusive meal.
Don’t Forget Party Trays and Games
Stock up your pantry with crackers, cheese, or veggies to offer snack trays as people wait for the main dish. Put someone in charge of the cheese trays so you can focus on the big stuff.
The Balance has a handful of fun adult holiday party games you can try to help get people talking and laughing together. This is a great way to break the ice and get conversation going among friends or family who’ve never met.
Give Yourself Five
In between planning/making decorations, buying ingredients, gift shopping, getting the perfect outfit, and cooking, it’s easy to get wrapped up in perfection and forget that this is a time of celebration and bonding with loved ones. This is one of the biggest holiday party mistakes. So take some time in between all the tasks and enjoy, drink some eggnog, play your favorite music, call your best friend, and have fun.
Do what you can to downgrade the pressure, but all your planning will help you pull off a truly enjoyable soiree. And most importantly, don’t allow yourself to forget what the holidays are really about: enjoying all of life’s blessings with friends and loved ones, sharing the joy, and yes, a little bit of overindulgence.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Article by Jennifer Scott