Thanksgiving is coming up, and Christmas soon after that! The holiday season is truly a heartwarming time for family and friends… Heartwarming, yes, but harrowing all at the same time. Yep, anyone who’s ever hosted anything during the holiday season, be it a small potluck party with friends or a grand reunion for both sides of the family, will know that entertaining during this time of year can be quite taxing – physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially!
Of course you want to create fun, meaningful memories that everyone can look back on with a smile, so you shouldn’t be sobbing your way through appetizers, right? Fret not, you got this! Here are our six tips on how to create a warm, welcoming party environment that doesn’t have to drain your energy, sanity, and bank account.
1. List everything down.
Here’s where you can pull a Santa Claus. Make a list and check it twice. Write everything down, through whatever medium works for you. Whether you have a dedicated app on your phone or a dedicated notebook stuffed in your purse, make sure to take note of it. Don’t rely on memory, you’re probably going to forget something in your rush, then you’re going to stress about forgetting! Don’t just write items down, write tasks as well. Don’t be afraid to delegate!
2. Cook ahead and stock up.
Food is always, always, always going to be a chief concern at any gathering. Go over your menu and take note of what items can be cooked ahead of time. If there are items that freeze well or can be store-bought, take note of that as well. You’ll also do well to stock up on snacks! Cookies, crackers, and nuts are crowd pleasers that’ll keep people happy and nibbling. You can serve them as is or lay them with a platter of cheese and cold cuts if you’re feeling extra fancy. Don’t forget your drinks too! Coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and cider should be on your holiday drink list. Your bar should have a few tasteful choices of wine and rum as well.
3. Clean up your place – at least the visible parts!
You don’t necessarily have to do an industrial floor-to-ceiling scrub down of your entire living space. You just need to keep the mess out of the visible areas of your house. Close the door to messy rooms and cluttered closets, or dump all your pending papers into a drawer or folder for post-party sorting instead.
4. Go for surprising decorations.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly… or that cute find from last weekend’s vintage market! Put traditional decorations in unexpected places, it’ll amuse and entertain your guests. Try putting your ornaments in bowls according to color or string your fairy lights across the buffet. A minimalist approach is also a chic and modern way to go about it. A bare branch with a single bow or one singular evergreen wreath will make an eye-catching statement, as will our Christmas Tree candle. Our signature geometric take on this classic holiday icon will surely turn heads – and noses! This candle comes with a holiday fragrance as well: orange, cinnamon, clove, vetiver, and pine, turning each space into a fireplace for stories and sharing.
5. Don’t neglect the other senses.
For the height of holiday entertainment, stimulate the sense of sound and smell. For that relaxing ambiance, prepare a playlist of seasonal instrumentals – instrumentals, yes, avoid anything with lyrics because that’s going to compete with the hum of lively conversation during your meal. Set the mood with a scintillating scent as well. Our Argyle Candle in Applejack & Orange Peel will take your guests back to their childhood home, giving them all the warm, fuzzy feelings associated with freshly baked apple pie.
6. Relax, you got this!
Don’t forget to have fun! The host contributes greatly to the atmosphere of the party, so if you want your guests to feel cheerful and welcomed, you need to be cheerful and welcoming as well. Smile and don’t stress! The holiday season always has a way of piling on the pressure, but don’t forget to enjoy the party you’re hosting!