The holidays are upon us, and that means parties and gatherings and get-togethers of all kinds. Whether that’s your own Christmas dinner, a company party or a client-appreciation event, we’ve broken it down so you know just what to do to make your party stand out among the rest. Ready?
When throwing a holiday party of any sorts, it’s best to keep these things in mind:
Smaller is better.
Pare down your guest list and really think about the people you want to spend the evening with. If you invite a million of your friends (and acquaintances), you’ll be just hugging and saying hi to all of them and will not really get the chance to sit down and talk with each of them. A smaller guest list means more intentional time with the ones you love.
Think critically about who your guests are.
Do you have a vegan attending? Do you have a vegetarian friend? Is someone who’s joining you allergic to nuts? Do you have friends who are alcohol-free? These are all little nuances to take into consideration to make sure that your guests feel well-cared for and included. You wouldn’t want to serve surf-and-turf to your vegetarian guest or give your sober friend a Moscow mule, so be mindful of diet restrictions and lifestyles that aren’t exactly like yours.
Get a little festive.
Decorate your home or your event space a bit — think about doing something more seasonal and less theme-related. If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal at your home, think about harvest and autumn colors, like burgundy, burnt orange, mustard and deep green. Maybe add in some pumpkins to table settings or table runner or spruce things up with wheat grass.
If you’re hosting a Christmas party, maybe go with a winter-wonderland theme instead of red, green and Santa. You could do whites and creams with silver and gold accents, or soft touches of colors (or jewel tone colors) to keep things looking a little more timeless and classic.
Batch your recipes.
When you’re hosting a holiday party, you might want to hire a bartender depending on the size of the event. But if it’s something more low-key and in your home, you will definitely want to stick to recipes you can batch. Marnie Rae’s mocktails are great for something festive (that doesn’t make you wake up feeling icky the next day) — and if you want a little kick to the night, add in your favorite liquor and open up a few bottles of your favorite wine. Remember, your guests are going to appreciate these little touches that show you care without you having to stand behind the bar (or your kitchen) all night long.
Charcuterie boards are great.
Not sure what to serve? Meat-and-cheese boards are the best. Have some sort of appetizer out and ready as people get there. This gives guests something to do right when they arrive — grab a drink, snag some appetizers and mix and mingle.
It’s all in the details.
Think of the little, tiny details that will wow your guests and make them think, “Wow, she really thought of me!” This can be everything from the invitation, to the napkin, to a personalized place card, to the thank-you note you send afterwards — each of these touches will hit home with your guests and make them really feel like you care (cuz we know you do!).
When in doubt, flower it out.
Add greenery or flowers whenever you can — it’s the best way to add a little interest to your table or home without having to do a whole lot. Snag a couple bunches of eucalyptus or winter greens and throw them in a vase.
And lastly: Keep. It. Simple.
This means don’t overthink everything. And honestly, if this is all too much and overwhelming, we think gathering your friends and family and just being with them is enough. Don’t sweat it, just get your people together and spend time with them.