Party Planning Like a Pro: Holiday Entertaining Made Easy

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It’s finally November, and with the arrival of these festive months comes guests and plenty of parties with friends and family! Hosting a party can create all kinds of stress. From questions of how to decorate to wondering what to serve, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when it’s your turn to host. But with the right amount of planning and preparation, you can be fully prepared for any gathering! As the holiday party circuit begins, follow these tips and tricks to ensure every party you host is chic and memorable.

Source: Harpers Bazaar

Food and Meal Prep:

Perhaps the biggest question that comes to mind when you sit down to plan your party is what food am I going to serve all of these people? When it comes to feeding large groups, the key is to make most of your party food ahead of time. By meal prepping beforehand, you’ll get the most involved portion out of the way and be fully present with your guests all night instead of spending your entire party stressing in the kitchen.

Arte Italica | Serveware and Plates

Shown Here: Arte Italica Serveware, Bella Biance Canape Plates

Pick a few do-ahead recipes and make sure to include a few savory and sweet options to please your entire crowd. Think crab and chive puffs, hot ricotta dip, and maple-glazed ham with biscuits. (Source) In addition to your homemade options, pick up a few store bought extras to fill your meal spread. These store bought items could be anything from mixed olives to pistachios or pickled vegetables. Another plus of choosing grab-and-go style hors d’oeuvres is no utensils are required and that means less cleanup afterwards.

Source: Pinterest

Decorations & Décor:

Now that you’ve tackled the food department, it’s time to think about décor. When it comes to holiday party decorations, your personal style should always shine through. Whether you want to go all out with red and green decorations and wreaths galore, or you prefer a simplistic all-white theme, decorate however you see best fits your style.

Source: Pinterest

For some tablescape inspiration, check out our table setting blog post for step-by-step instructions on how to create the perfect dining room. The best way to insure your party doesn’t turn tacky is to choose decorations that use fresh flowers, garlands, and greenery. Don’t be afraid to pick a few out of the box decorations to change things up. Fill a glass bowl or large vase with vintage ornaments or fairy lights for a simple but stunning décor piece. Throw a few festive pillows on your living room furniture to bring the holiday spirit into your home. Even small dashes of white and gold accents can add a festive and chic flair to your space with minimal effort.

Source: Pinterest

Ambience & Mood:

Next, think about setting the ambience for your holiday party. If your party is in the evening, turn off your overhead lights and set the mood with candles and votives for a warm and glowing ambience. This is also the perfect time to showcase your favorite holiday scented candle! A welcoming, but not too overbearing scent will make guests feel welcome and comfortable.

Source: Pinterest

An alternative to festive candles is a holiday-scented potpourri. This potpourri creates the perfect scent that will waft through your home all day as it simmers on the stove. This simple potpourri recipe uses cinnamon, citrus, ginger and vanilla for a scent that instantly makes any room smell like the holiday season.

Source: Half Baked Harvest

Complete the festive mood with a playlist (like the one below!) of chill and upbeat songs on shuffle at a volume that can be heard but won’t overwhelm your party conversations.

Our Party Like a Pro Playlist. Listen Now!

Last-Minute Tips:

The night of the party, make sure to lower the temperature to keep everyone comfortable and maybe open a few windows to circulate fresh air. To keep prepped food warm, set it in an oven at 200 degrees to act as a warming drawer. Place a large plastic bin in your sink filled with warm soapy water and toss in used dishes during the party. Buy some Chinese to-go boxes and fill with leftover food to send home with guests as they leave for a parting gift that will help you get rid of extra food!

Source: KK Home Furnishings

At the end of the day, the most important tip is to remember to enjoy your own party! As the party starts and all of your hard work and planning is over, take the time to relax and enjoy the party with your guests.