Welcoming the Holidays

This holiday season you are going to host a party or two, maybe even a nice dinner,cocktail party or a casual brunch. The fun won’t be confined to the few hours you get to spend with your guest. It will start right now, and will linger long after the party is over.

As the host/hostess, you get to define every aspect of your party, from the date and time, to the guest list and menu. But before the lights and decorations are set up and the world shifts into holiday gear, get out a calender and start thinking about the kinds of gatherings you would enjoy having. Minimize your stress by staying realistic, and getting organized, and the most important thing is to plan ahead. Begin by imagining what your party to be when it is going full swing. Is it a dressy or causual affair? Is it a cozy intimate dinner for only your closest friends or a big bustling party? Are kids going to be welcome? Just remember to plan ahead.

Here are a few different party tips that I hope you will find helpful.

Cocktail Party:
Cocktail parties are a festive way to welcome groups of friends and the are really easy to host. Cocktail parties have a pre determined start and end time. Usually they last no more than 3 or 4 hours in the early evening or after dinner, so all you really have to serve is a few different types of drinks and some light hors d’oeuvers all without the worry of preparing a full course meal. The drinks can be passed out or you can set up a self serve mini bar or tend the bar yourself or better yet assign someone else to do it.

The Open House:
A friend of mine hosted a Christmas open house every year and they were a blast. Similar to the cocktail party the holiday open house lets you invite a lot of people, and it is a really good choice if you want to invite families with children. Set a start and end time for the party and invite people to just drop in any ole time. They will truly appreciate the flexibility since they may have many other functions to attend. You can have small appetizers and drinks or set up a buffet and drink area, both which can be restocked throughout the party. Remember if inviting families with children to plan a little area where the kids can be kids . Have crayons and paper or something similar so the wee ones don’t get bored.

The Holiday Brunch:
As everyone’s holiday schedule fills up,a brunch can be a great time to bring family and friends together. It is also a very easy way to entertain. If you holiday guest it will make their stay more memorable. I always set mine up as a buffet. Keep the food simple and your brunch will be great.

The Elegant Holiday Dinner.:
The holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years offer plenty of opportunities to host a formal dinner. This is a great way to celebrate the season with great food and a welcoming environment. It is also a chance to use your finer dishes and silverware, decorate the house and table. It is a great time to prepare that special multi-course menu that can be savored with good wine and family and friends.

Once the house is cleaned and decorated for the holidays there are several othe types of parties you can host. Such as a Tree Trimming party, a Cookie Exchange,a fondue party. The skies the limit to the type of party you can host just remember to plan ahead and be organized. And most of all relax and enjoy yourself.