10 Tips to Become a Fantastic Holiday Party Host
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We’re in the home-stretch now, friends! Christmas is just around the corner and I can’t even handle it! I have all my shopping done, my holiday cards have been mailed out,
The only things I get to do between now and Christmas Day is to watch Christmas movies, host our annual Christmas Eve party, and spend ALL the time with my little family and our friends. Because let’s be real, as fun as it is to get presents and eat ALL THE CANDY, the best part about the holidays is spending time with the people you love (and the non-stop Christmas music, too. Obviously.)
I’ll be honest, I was an absolute hot mess the first year I hosted it, as in I had decided to wear my new hair extensions that night and got them in the chili dip. Also, I broke a plate. And Rosie stole the last stuffed mushroom from my plate. It was #badnewsbears all around. But, not to worry. This will be my third year hosting our Christmas Eve party and after doing it a few times, I feel like I’ve really learned how to maximize my time and efforts to host a fun family and friend gathering without stressing myself out.
So, I figured I would share some of my tips that I’ve learned from the past three years on how to be an excellent host without feeling like your about to loose your mind (or your new hair extensions.)
10 Tips to Become a Fantastic Holiday Party Host
Dress Comfortably –
I know that holiday parties are the perfect excuse to dress up to the nines, but trust me, sister, you do NOT want to be running around serving food or replenishing the drinks in your stiletto heels. You can still dress festively, but opt to be comfortable too! Instead of choosing the cute party dress with heels, put on a pair of dark wash jeans and a sequin top or black leggings and a cozy sweater dress. If you HAVE to wear heels, opt for a kitten heel or a wedge that helps you move around with ease! I would also encourage you to wear darker colors because moving food and drinks around can be a perfect excuse for a spill. You want to be able to move around easily while hosting a party and you don’t want to worry about stains!
Don’t Wear the Red Lipstick –
I know, this is a weird tip coming from a beauty blogger who is usually ALL ABOUT the red lipstick (and who is wearing it in the above photo) but hear me out. This is the only time I’ll ever tell you to skip it, but PLEASE save yourself the stress about bright red lipstick smeared on your face or on your teeth and pass it all together. Unless you have some magic lipstick that doesn’t budge, opt for a tinted lip balm or a nude color that won’t get everywhere while you taste-test, chat, and drink!
Set-up a Cup Decorating Station –
One of the worst things about a holiday party (in my humble opinion) is having a plethora of plastic cups all over the place and not knowing which one belongs to who! Someone will pour themselves a drink, set it down, forget which one it is, and then go get another cup and the cycle starts all over again! So, tackle two birds with one stone and set up a cup decorating station as a party activity and prevent drink/cup waste in the process!
What you’ll need: Plastic cups, obviously. I like to get green ones if I can because they are different than the typical red ones! You will also need cup decorating supplies, like permanent markers, stickers, and washi tape, along with some scissors. If you want to get REALLY fancy, you can get out the sequins and glue, but I would caution against that. Glue tends to get everywhere.
Set it up: I always put my decorating materials in some glass cups and make sure that there are scissors, too, for cutting the washi tape! I also include a little paper with instructions so that new friends know what to do!
Have a contest: To make it even more fun, we’ve decided to do a cup-decorating contest this year! We’ll set up everyone’s cups halfway through the party and do a vote! Everyone will vote (they just can’t vote for their own) and the winner will take home a gift!
Choose a Variety of Drinks
I realized that if I was going to make decorating cups a big part of my party, I needed to provide a variety of drinks for people to choose from (that way they had a reason to decorate a cup in the first place!) That’s why I always grab a plethora of Coca-Cola products from Albertsons (or Shaws, for my friends back East) when getting ready for my party.
Coca-Cola has a really tasty Sprite Cranberry soda in the 2 Liter form that is the perfect holiday drink concoction. We also have some friend and family who don’t drink soda/can’t have it, so I always grab someMinute Maid Concentrate and Pure Squeezed Orange Juice so they have a tasty option as well. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic Coca-Cola bottles, so I have those on hand just in case we run out of the other drinks!
Make sure your Camera Battery is Charged
Okay, I am the QUEEN of never having my camera battery charged. It is not my finest quality and it’s something I’m working hard on because I have missed so many wonderful photo opportunities of my family and friends. So, I decided to set an alarm the morning of my holiday party so that my battery would FOR SURE make it into the charger and have enough juice to get us through the party.
Have a Plan to Share said Photos
Being able to take photos at the party is the first hurdle to overcome, and having a plan to share those photos is the second hurdle! Thankfully, Albertsons (and their banner stores) is running a fun promotion with Shutterfly, so I’m totally covered this year (and you can be, too!) If you Buy 4 participating Coca-Cola products you can enjoy $20 off at Shutterfly.com. This offer will be executed via Catalina print out at the register with unique pin code to redeem online here.
Keep your Food Simple
It’s all about spending time with family and friends, right? And it IS possible to have tasty food that is SIMPLE to make! Don’t over-do it! We’ve made our Christmas Eve party all about appetizers and dips, so I can make them all ahead of time and just set them out right before everyone gets there! And for the warm dips/appetizers, I just pull out all my crock pots (I have three – yes it’s a problem but #sorrynotsorry) and turn them on warm. That way I don’t have to worry about cooking, heating anything up, or things staying warm throughout the party!
Have Holiday Left-Over Boxes
Of course, I always over-prepare and have a LOT of leftovers at the end of the party. Instead of sending everyone home with tupperware and wondering if I’ll ever see it again, I make sure I have a stack of cute Holiday food boxes on hand! I set them out at towards the end of the party and tell everyone to fill at least one up with left-overs before they leave! It’s a win-win! No missing tupperware, I don’t have endless amounts of leftovers to try to store, and everyone leaves with a party favor!
Do a Kid-Proof “Lift” Run-Through of your Home
We have several friends with small children and we LOVE having them come to our parties. However, Dustin and I don’t have children and our home is not exactly child-proof. (This was made VERY evident this last weekend when some of our best friends came to stay with us. They have two little girls and they got into everything they could reach!) So, doing a kid-proof run through before the kids come is something that is super important to a host’s sanity. The last thing you want is to be stressing out about what fragile or valuable things might get broken!
So, the morning of the party, I simply do a “lift” run! I pick up anything that is below waist level and “lift” it to the top of my bookshelves/closet shelves. That way everything is out of the way and no one needs to worry about what the kids might get into!
Create a Holiday Atmosphere with Minimal Decorations
Since we’re in an apartment this year while we get ready to buy our first home, I’m a little limited with what I can do with decorations. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t bring the holiday feeling into my home! We have our Christmas tree up, but I also turn on the Fireplace for Your Home on Netflix on my TV screen and have Christmas music playing from our Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen. It really makes a huge change to the overall atmosphere of our home! It just FEELS like Christmas!
Of course, though, what really makes it feel like Christmas is being surrounded by my family and friends. I am so, so lucky to be living so close to my siblings and to several of our closest friends here in Utah and being able to spend time with them this holiday season has been everything to me. So, make sure that you take a moment to step back from the craziness of hosting a holiday party and savor the moment because you deserve to live a vibrant life filled with love, family, and food!
Do you have any holiday party plans this year? What tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve? What’s your favorite Coca-Cola product?