Thanksgiving to New Year’s is by far the busiest party season of the year. Most people I know have at least one event every weekend, and sometimes multiple on the same night! To help you stay sane while planning your own soiree, follow the tips below.
Rentals – If you are having more than 40 people I highly recommend renting the glassware and plates. That way you can ignore dishes and not worry about breaking a glass. I think that real glasses and plates make an event special.
Staff – If you’re having more than 40 people it’s best to have at least one person to help out. That person can clear plates, pass food, and keeps drinks refilled. If you’re having more than 60 people hire a bartender as well.
Decor – The holidays are the one time a year that decorations are almost required. Thankfully, most people already have their home decorated. I like to make sure that there’s welcoming decor outside, candles on the table and something unexpected. That can be an extra tree in the dining room, a train under the tree or whatever makes you smile.
Guests – Ask one or two couples, preferably very outgoing ones, to show up right on time. That way the first guest doesn’t feel awkward till more people arrive. It will also help you get in the spirit.
Floorplan – Keep enough room for guests to mingle and sit in groups around your home. Don’t pack everyone into the living and dining rooms if there’s extra space in the kitchen or family room that you can use. Set up the bar separately from the food to prevent log jams.
You – Make sure you plan to have at least 30 minutes to get dressed and refreshed before the first guest arrives. Take the time to touch up makeup and hair, take a few deep breaths and maybe have a glass of champagne. Pick out your outfit the day before so there is no last minute dressing chaos.