Let’s be honest, planning a party can be stressful, especially during the holiday season. But, armed with some tried and true tips, you can plan a stress-free Christmas event that allows you to be a guest at your own party!
#1: Plan ahead for your Christmas party. About a month before, prepare your guest list, decide on and print invitations. Due to the busy holiday season, I suggest mailing them a little earlier than a typical party invitation. This allows guests as much notice as possible to make arrangements to attend.
#2: Keep decorations simple. Most likely, your home will already be somewhat decorated for the holidays. A dressed up Christmas tree, paired with lit garlands and wreaths, candles for ambiance and a few well-loved decorations, are more than enough to set a festive mood without compromising on space or traffic flow. You can find lots of Christmas themed printables online for free if you’re looking for something special and stress-free to add to your celebration.
#3: Stick to a simple, easy-prep and finger food menu, and invite guests to bring a favorite finger food or dessert to share. A few weeks prior, brainstorm your Christmas party menu, being sure to focus on those recipes that can be made ahead, involve very few ingredients and don’t require special serving dishes and utensils. Finger appetizers, such as chips and dip, fruit and veggie platters and meats and cheeses, are your friends! Not only do such menu items cut down on prep time and clean up, they generally aren’t high maintenance dishes either, allowing for self-service and more time for you to spend enjoying your guests.
If you invite guests to contribute to the festivities by sharing one of their favorite finger foods, have a few printable, folding food labels on hand to label desserts and appetizers they bring.
#5: Stock up on disposable tableware, utensils and cups. While your food buffet and dessert table can certainly be dressed up with beautiful crystal and glass, platters and serving dishes, save yourself the agony of hours of clean-up by going disposable. Have extra garbage cans on hand that you can switch out when they become full. Then, when the party is over, take out the trash and smile at all of the work you saved yourself.
#6: Send guests home with leftovers. Have takeout style favor boxes and small dessert bags for guests to take home leftover desserts and appetizers. Not only will many love to take home something sweet or savory to enjoy the next day, it cuts down on your clean-up time! You’ll have less to repackage and store in your fridge, and you won’t have to feel guilty about throwing anything away.
With these tips in mind and a little pre-planning, you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas party without sacrificing on festivity or fun.