Hosting a holiday get together? Whether you’re planning a ruckus party for kids of all ages or your having an elegant cocktail gathering, being the host can be stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be. With the right tips, you can have just as much fun as your guests.
Pick a Date and a “Theme”
When we say theme, we’re not necessarily thinking Star Wars or Santa’s Helpers. Rather, we’re talking about a simple theme. You'd need to overcomplicate things. Will it be a cocktail party? Will it be a sit-down affair? Is it a potluck?
Determining the type of party it will be from the beginning can seriously simplify the process. Also, pick a date as soon as possible and get it on the calendar.
Send Invites ASAP
It’s not just your calendar that can fill up quickly this time of year. Your guests’ can too. So, send your invites now! Even if you’re planning a holiday bash for January. Because as they say, the early bird gets the worm. Or in this case, the party with the guests you want to see the most.
Keep the Menu Easy
Planning an over-the-top meal that will wow your guests can be tempting. But those ultra-involved meals can also be a lot of work. This is especially true if you’re trying to make something you’ve never made before.
Instead, keep your menu easy. Stick to dishes you know you can nail. Better yet, plan a menu that involves a few make-ahead items.
Go with Make-Ahead Appetizers
In addition to your make-ahead dishes for the main course, try to stick to make ahead appetizers. The more work you can do in advance, the less stress you’ll feel during the actual party. Something you can assemble the day before (like stuffed mushroom caps) and then pop in the oven, is an easy and delectable solution.
Keep Drinks Self-Serve
Even the best prep-ahead hosts tend to have a few last-minute things to handle. Don’t make fetching drinks for guests one of them. Set up a self-serve bar station. Outfit it with all of the fixings a guest will need, including glasses, ice, and garnishes.
Make sure to offer a few non-alcoholic options, like an infused water or soda. If you’re going to put out liquors and mixers, think about placing a few framed cocktail recipes on the bar as recommendations.
Final note on the bar, don’t be afraid to just offer beer and wine. This can simplify things greatly.
Setup a Fire Pit Station on the Patio
During the winter months, it’s easy to focus on indoor activities. But, indoor activities aren’t the only game in town. The warmth and glow of a fire pit can act as a beacon, encouraging guests to gather together. Make the outdoor spot even more fun by setting up a s’mores bar nearby.
Need a fire pit? Stop by our Seattle or Bellevue store to see our selection.