Is it your turn to host the holiday party? If so, there’s no need to panic. While the task may seem daunting, with careful planning and preparation you will actually be able to enjoy the festivities just as much as your guests. From setup to cleanup, we’ve created a guide to ensure your holiday party is both successful and stress-free.
Make a List
Creating a list is perhaps the best way to assure a stress-free holiday. Planning all your tasks and activities ahead of time will allow you to create a timeline of both what needs to get done and when it should be done by. A detailed list will provide you with a clear picture of what you already have and the different things you still need to produce the look you desire at your party. Additionally, adding deadlines to your list will help you avoid the stressful haste that often occurs in the last hours leading up to the party.
Ask for Help
Party-throwers sometimes feel like they have to do all the work themselves. This shouldn’t be the case and by no means should you be afraid to delegate. Whether it’s a family member or a friend, asking guests to help with a party-related task makes them feel more involved – and if they are true friends of yours, they will be thrilled to lend a helping hand! After you create your list, check off what you know you are capable of getting done and then pass on other tasks to people who you feel comfortable with helping you out.
There’s nothing more uninviting (and also awkward) than attending a party in a room that’s an absolute mess. That being said, the best holiday parties don’t necessarily occur in the world’s cleanest house. So how should you approach tidying up your house? Simply just close the door and turn off the lights to the rooms you don’t want your guests entering. If you have random papers and miscellaneous objects laying around, sweeping them into an empty drawer or cabinet is a quick fix and will save you plenty of time to handle all of your other important pre-party responsibilities.
Set the Mood
Music is an essential aspect to any holiday party. At some point before the event, spend some time creating a playlist – or a homemade CD if you’re old school – of your favorite seasonal tunes. The last thing you want is to be hovering over your iPod during the party stressing about which song to play next. And don’t forget to keep the music low during the party – conversation is everything.
Clean Up Before the Mess
Before the party even happens, it’s always smart to prepare your home for the mess that will inevitably occur so that you don’t have to spend hours the next day cleaning up. One easy strategy is to put trash bins (or trash bags) all around the areas in which you expect heavy foot traffic. Once the guests are gone, take out the trash and recycling so your house doesn’t reek of a bar when you wake up. Another useful tip is to soak dirty dishes in a large plastic bin. Simply fill the bin with warm, soapy water and then toss in the used ones during the party.
Be sure to follow these stress-less preparation tips and you’ll be well on your way to preparing an awesome holiday party. Not only will you impress your guests, but you’ll also save your energy and ease your peace of mind. Happy holidays!