4 Must-Know Tips for Throwing a Holiday Party with Style

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When it comes to the holidays, there are lots of things to look forward to. However, entertaining tops the list for most of us – and with good reason. At the end of the day, the holidays are all about celebrating the best of life. They’re about incredible food and an inviting ambiance. They’re about family, friends, and loved ones all gathered together.

However, knowing you can’t wait to throw your next holiday party is one thing. Throwing one that has style and true flair is another. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the best ways to make sure everyone has a great time and that everything goes off without a hitch.

1.     Mix it up when it comes to your guest list.

Throwing a killer holiday party is only partly about creating the perfect setting and serving the right food. It’s also all about the people you invite, so it’s only understandable that you might be stressing out over which of your many circles are the “right” ones to include.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of those circles. One of the hallmarks of a great holiday party is the opportunity to meet and rub elbows with different types of people. That said, your artistic friends will probably welcome the chance to chat with your work colleagues. Try it and see! Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit when it comes to age groups as well.

2.     Give some careful thought to the atmosphere.

Have you ever been to a party where everything should be working well, but it just isn’t, for whatever reason? The food’s great, the company is awesome, and the drinks are perfectly on point … but something’s just missing. The chances are pretty good that the host didn’t really give any thought to setting the right vibe, and the guests picked up on that subconsciously.

That said, put some energy into considering how you want your holiday party to “feel” when your guests arrive. Turn the lights down low, light the fireplace, and put on a jazzy playlist that fits the tone of your party. Don’t forget the décor, either! Light plenty of candles and add a holiday touch to your entryway and living room with some fun accent pieces. You’ll want to make sure your dinnerware, table linens, and choice of drinkware are in line with your vibe as well.

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3.     Keep party food simple and have plenty of booze on hand.

Although having a variety of fancy hors d’oeuvre trays on hand or setting up a massive banquet table may sound like a great idea, you’d do a lot better to keep things simple instead. First, decide whether you’re hosting a cocktail party (set to start before dinner) or a dessert party (after dinner). Lots of people prefer the latter, as it gives you more time to get ready, as well as frees you from the obligation to feed people who are working up an appetite for their evening meal.

Set up a simple buffet in either the kitchen or the dining room. Fill it with delicious but simple holiday treats like fresh fruit, chips and dip, holiday cookies, and donuts. Pretty bowls filled with olives, nuts, party mix, or candies are also good choices. Then simply let people help themselves to whatever they fancy.

Do the same with your bar area. Choose a table or countertop to dedicate to some carefully chosen glassware and a nice selection of liquor, beer, and wine. Leave a little room to add any bottles your guests bring with them. Make sure to keep this area well-stocked and organized throughout the night. You may even want to consider hiring help for this if you’re throwing an especially big shindig.

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4.     Make sure you’re available to enjoy the party, too.

Don’t forget that your guests are coming at least in part to see you so that you can celebrate the holiday together. No one will be happy if you wind up stuck in the kitchen all night prepping food or refilling appetizer trays. Plus, your stress and hectic vibe will definitely rub off on your guests. Remember: Keep things simple.

You’ll also want to make sure everything’s ready to go at least 30 minutes before you’re expecting your first guests to show up. Candles should be lit, music should be on, the food area should be ready, and the bar should be stocked. Feel free to pour yourself a pre-party drink and relax for a moment on the couch while you wait for folks to start showing up. You’ve earned it! 

Scarlett Olivia