What makes a successful party at your home? Good company, good food and good atmosphere!
- Be choosy about your guest list. Keep the numbers to a limit where you can still enjoy your party. For larger groups consider hiring or recruiting some prep and party help to lighten your load.
- If there is a challenging personality included in the guest list be mindful to also invite someone who may get along well with them and also be mindful about where you seat them.
- When guest offer to lend a hand, take them up on it. Think ahead of a few simple tasks they could do. Being involved helps some people feel more engaged and comfortable in social settings.
Good Food & Drink
- Use tried and true recipes. Don’t let your party guests be the guinea pigs for your first soufflé.
- Use food that can be prepped in advance OR buy prepared food for some or all of the dishes to reduce cooking time.
- Consider having 2 entrees and a variety of sides. Make lots of flavors available and accommodate guests with dietary restrictions.
- Don’t go overboard on drink variety. In the holiday theme, a simple offering of a spiced wine, spiked eggnog OR hot cider is sufficient–in addition to the standard wine & bubbly water.
- Music: make managing the music easy by using online streaming services such as Pandora, or creating a party playlist that can run for several hours. If this isn’t your fortè, recruit a music fan or techie to help you out.
- Layout: if necessary re-arrange furniture to create easy flow during the party. Position the food and drink strategically to pull people through the space and not clog up one area of the house. Place a few extra trashcans around to catch cups & plates. Folding chairs are a simple way to add extra seating or create small conversation zones.
- Décor: Keep it simple. Focus on one or two key areas – such as the front door, food and drink tables. You can always add to decor if time allows. But getting some basic decorating done a day or two in advance lightens your load on party day.
Remember, hosting a party is something you do share time and experience with friends. And, your guests are coming for the same reasons! If you’re comfortable and prepared, you’ll create a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere for everyone, including yourself!