Planning A Stress-Free Holiday Party

With the holidays just around the corner and decorations already on display in stores, it won’t be long before 2012’s holiday season is upon us and bringing with it the much awaited holiday parties. I, for one, always love a good party!

For me, the best part about planning is the actual planning itself and I like to get a head start on the preparations. First things first, I create a list of everything I’m supposed to do well ahead of time and prepare a simple hosting plan right from setup to cleanup. Here are a few items I recommend:

  • Impressive and easy food is the way to go! A stress-free food plan is complete with store-bought extras and do-ahead recipes that include a few sweets and savouries. Better yet, stick to finger-food and grab-and-go menus that require no utensils and less cleanup. I personally love mini gingerbread cookies, baked brie, meat skewers, crab and chive puffs, veggie and fruit platters, and mixed olives and pistachios. No matter what you do, people will always remember the food at an event so make it tasty!
  • Decide the cocktail shaker – Punch feels like a stuffy “cotillion” but some serve-yourself recipes are actually quite hip. I suggest you google one of these recipes:

Vodka Cranberry Cooler

Tequila Grapefruit Splash

Bourbon Ginger Snap

Winter Sangria

Spiked Sparkling Cider

Pineapple Mint Punch

  • The mood makes the whole difference – I am a strong believer in the fact that the mood of an event determines its success. Agree or not, music and lighting might be all it needs!
  • Music Mix favorite party tunes with traditional holiday tunes to make the gathering fun. After all, the aim is to infuse holiday cheer into the party without subjecting folks to mind-numbing tracks. Try these to get into the holiday spirit:

Brian Setzer Orchestra- Jingle bells

Trisha Yearwood- it wasn’t his son

Elvis Presley- Blue Christmas

Jose Feliciano-Feliz Navidad

Adam Sandler-The Chanukah Song

Eartha kit- Santa Baby

Bing Crosby- Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Nat King Cole- The Christmas song

  • Lighting Keep the bright overheads off. Go for amber votive candles instead, especially those that give off a temperate glow. Metallic accents are a good idea too since they bounce off light and are instantly festive. I tape the dimmer and light switches in fixed positions so guests don’t accidentally ruin the vibe by leaning on them.

Planning a stress-free holiday can be easy, but requires a bit of thought and planning.

In the comment box below, share your tips for creating a stress free holiday party.

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