Everything You Need To Know About Hosting A Holiday Party

Everything You Need To Know About Hosting A Holiday Party

Are you ready to celebrate the season? Check out my list of the 11 things you need to know before throwing a holiday party:

1. Be prepared and start shopping NOW. When you find great deals and bargains at the end of the season, think Christmas and your gift closet.

2. The artificial trees of today look so real, and you can reuse them next year. If you miss the scent, you can get fragrant candles that smell like pine. A tree should have at least 100 lights per foot. Try fresh flowers on a Christmas tree: Put red roses in test tubes and nestle them in the branches.

3. Decide on your color scheme and big picture for the season – this will help shape all your creative decisions along the way.

4. Keep one theme that starts at the front door and thread that style from the wreath to the mantle piece, christmas tree, gift wrap and serving trays.

5. The key is to set everything up the night before. That way, the day of the party, I just have to put food and drinks out, and I’ll still have time to shower, shave, and change into a new shirt.

6. Be resourceful. It’s not humanly possible to do it all. Buy the turkey and make the soup. Maybe you like setting a table, but food’s not your thing.

7. Good lighting is a must. Not too bright; use dimmers. There’s no such thing as too many candles. Votives, pillars, tapers—use them everywhere.

8. Serve a signature cocktail. Set up a drinks station with glasses and a beverage dispenser so guests can serve themselves. Or hire a mixologist—they’re rock stars these days.

9. Play great music. Don’t make it all about Santa. Take your best cocktail playlist and mix in about 20 percent holiday songs.

10. Set up food stations. I like charcuterie, smoked salmon and rye bread (with frozen vodka or aquavit), and one warm dish like turkey stew, chicken pot pie, or risotto. To serve, have a tray of espresso cups and spoons at the ready so people can have a taste.

11. Assemble a colorful guest list. Don’t always invite the same people. Mix it up.

--Colin Cowie

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