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7 Tips for Hosting One Hell of a Holiday Party

Getting excited for this year’s seasonal festivities?

Here’s the rundown on how to be the hostess with the mostest (or host with the most).

It’s that time of year again (*claps hands maniacally while letting out giddy laugh*). Starbucks has finally released their adorable holiday cups, commercials are blasting the jingle bells, and a certain nip in the air has us all grabbing for the nearest chunky sweater.

Our favorite blogs are also unveiling a steady stream of awesome holiday-themed content covering everything from how to dress to how to stuff a turkey. And while food is a crucial component of any successful get-together, the Martha Stewarts of the world know good grub is where the party planning starts—not where it ends.

Time to up your Xmas game

In order to impress friends, entertain family and show appreciation for staff or coworkers, there are plenty of other details that you need to consider. Not only do you need to dress the part, but you also need to think of new, unique ways to add that extra dash of ‘magic’ to the traditional party setup. After all, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.

Here’s a roundup of the best tips and tricks for throwing the ultimate badass holiday party, courtesy of the people who love to work hard and play harder.

7 Tips for Hosting One Hell of a Holiday Party

1. Get organized

There’s nothing worse than a party that creates more stress than fun. In order to ensure things go smoothly and you can relax and enjoy company, get a game plan in order. The holidays are a notoriously nerve-racking time. By creating a list and checking it twice, it’s easier to juggle work, home, holiday shopping, and party planning.

In particular, make sure to order invitations or setup an Evite early. In the days prior to the gathering, knowing your RSVP number is imperative. As we all know, hosting an intimate party of dinner guests is a whole different story than prepping a feast for a room of fifty.

2. Dress the part

Why do these shindigs have to be so predictable? Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or the office holiday party, everyone seems to wear the same thing. Men bust out their boring suits while women grab their glittery gowns or fuzzy turtleneck sweaters. We say—step into the 21st century with a getup guests won’t soon forget.

Opt for one of today’s standout Christmas dresses featuring charming seasonal patterns and hilarious prints inspired by the ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ trend. It’s so fun to have that go-to piece you can wear year after year. Not to mention, these spotlight-stealing frocks are sure to make loved ones laugh with appreciation (and envy).

Shinesty Holiday

3. Simplify the bar

Drinks are an important part of every seasonal bash. Go to any party, and you usually see one of two things: a massive bar filled with top-shelf spirits of all sorts; or, a boring keg that reminds you of your frat-house hopping days. In this case, the wheel SHOULD be reinvented. Instead of giving guests too many (or too few) options, we have a fun idea inspired by a top wedding trend.

Nowadays, you often see the bride and groom offer‘ signature drinks’ during the cocktail hour. This approach not only saves time, money and cleanup, but it also treats guests to a true holiday cocktail with all the thrilling flavors and smells of the season. Select one or two recipes, stock up on ingredients, and let loved ones pick their poison.

4. Pre-make the menu

Smart hosts and hostesses embrace the spirit of simplicity—especially when it comes to food. Whether you’re organizing a formal multi-course dinner or want to serve up some hot appetizers or potluck dishes in the crockpot, you want the majority of prep tasks to be completed prior to guests arriving. The more you can do before, the better.

Simplifying the menu might mean choosing a theme, so dishes include similar ingredients and flavor profiles (A Mexican Christmas, Italian Wonderland, Chinese New Year). It could also mean selecting dishes you can make entirely in advance, such as these yummy holiday appetizers dreamt up by the good people at Brit + Co.

5. Hire an elf

Go ahead. Take this advice literally. Guests will love taking selfies with someone dressed as Santa, Buddy the Elf, Ralphie Parker in a bunny onesie or some other classic holiday character. But what we’re really referring to is hired help. Even with a relatively stress-free menu of food and drink, the holidays are all about having fun, playing games, sharing stories and participating with the crowd—including the host or hostess.

If you’ve got a huge extended family or base of friends, consider paying a person to come in, pass hors-d'oeuvres and cocktails, collect empty glasses, do dishes and perform other cleanup tasks so you too can join in the merriment. Don’t feel guilty. In fact, many people count on Christmas and other holidays to boost their income, so rest assured there’s someone out there looking to make a buck while you celebrate the season.

6. Choose a party theme

Office Christmas parties have been spearheading this trend for decades. But on the home front, nobody ever thinks to include a cool theme as part of the greater party package. In your invitation or obligatory ‘you’re invited’ text message, tell people to dress the part alongside you. Take a look at some hilarious Christmas outfits for ideas, or steal one of these clever themes below:

  • Ugly Christmas sweater party
  • Christmas masquerade ball
  • Scary Nightmare Before Christmas party
  • Candyland Christmas party
  • Christmas murder mystery party
  • Christmas movie marathon party

7. Don’t forget the morning after

If you’re like us, holiday parties = over-imbibing. If your bashes tend to end up with a few friends crashing on the couch, don’t subject them to the typical walk of shame. Instead, make the wakeup an enchanting experience by assembling some thoughtful goodie bags. By the way, a fun holiday ‘survival kit’ also ensures they’ll choose YOUR party next year. Generosity always pays off in the long run.  

Fill each bag with a bottle of water, aspirin, chips, cookies, candy canes and other holiday (and hangover) themed favors. You can also spend a little more and have the present double as their true holiday gift. Matching Christmas pajamas are an amazing Insta-worthy idea for friends and family alike.

holiday pajamas

Hope these 7 tips bring you holiday hosting luck! More Made In festivity tips and tricks are coming soon…

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