Nothing embodies the holiday spirit like a family get together shared over a hot meal and lots of brightly wrapped gifts. That being said, there always comes a bit of stress when preparing to host large party at your home, and hosting during the holidays are no different. Nobody wants to spend their holidays fretting over little details of their upcoming party. Here are five tips to ensure you host a smooth, stress-free holiday party.
- Know Who’s Coming
In the early stages of your party planning, you will want to take stock of everyone who might make an appearance. You will want to be sure to touch base with everyone you wish to attend your holiday function. The biggest thing to remember to avoid fretting over who may or may not come, is to not take any chances. Make a follow-up round of texts and phone calls early on to formally inquire who will be attending. If calls or messages are unreturned in the first round, make a second, or even a third before you begin to plan out how much food and table space you will need. Establishing a firm number of attendees will prevent a lot of unforeseen problems and stress as you approach your event.
- Create an Inclusive Environment
One of the keys to hosting a memorable party, is considering all of your guests and their individual needs. What this doesn’t mean, is that you need to go through exhaustive lengths to cater to individual tastes, but what you can do is consider your guests on a macro level. What is the average age of your party attendees? How many children will be attending? Do any of your guests have allergies or dietary restrictions? These are the larger questions you can ask as you plan a party that will be fun for everyone. If your holiday get-together includes many children, you might plan out some activities, or seasonal games to give them something to do—keeping them, and their parents happy. It is also important to consider your guests’ dietary restrictions. If you have a vegetarian family member, including a delicious non-meat option will let them know you considered them for this party, and add a little more to that warm holiday spirit you’re trying to build.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
There is always pressure to try and create the ideal holiday dinner. Perhaps your original idea was to recreate the same holiday meal your parents or grandparents always made during your childhood. While you may feel this huge expectation resting on your shoulders, you should realize that there isn’t anything wrong with trying something new. As your holiday party approaches and you rake your mind for creative recipes and decoration ideas, don’t be afraid to get on the internet and check out some of the content others have come up with for their perfect holiday get-together. Browse sites such as Pinterest until you find something that resonates with you. Once you’ve found a recipe or party idea you want to try, begin working that into your holiday preparations. Just be sure to always keep your guests in mind.
- Always Have a Plan B
If you find yourself constantly worrying about the worst-case scenario, take the time now to put your worries at ease and come up with a Plan B. If you aren’t quite sure about some family members showing up when you couldn’t get ahold of them to confirm their RSVP, keep cheap foldable table and chairs ready to whip out when they “unexpectedly” show up to your party. If you have allotted most of your party’s time for eating, and the meal runs faster than expected, you might want to set up some other holiday-related activities to occupy their time before you begin exchanging presents. Having a backup plan can ease your worries, as you will feel much better prepared for a number of scenarios, as opposed to changing on the fly under pressure.
- Remember What Really Matters
Lastly, you should keep in mind that most important part of your holiday get-together is spending time with the people you love. If you feel immense pressure weighing down on your shoulders to keep your home spotless, or to stretch yourself to prepare the holiday meal, you are probably not keeping your mind on what really matters. Instead of sweating over the details, take a step back, and remember that the people you are inviting are friends and family. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Chances are, they will lend a helping hand; after all, what’s family for? Focus on keeping your family, and yourself, happy and you are sure to have a holiday party to remember.