It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but even holiday cheer comes with its fair share of stress. From last-minute shopping to crazy traffic, a person can go mad preparing for Christmas and the holiday season, especially if you’re hosting a party at your home.
Below, find out 5 surefire tips to ensure a stress-free holiday party planning experience:
1.Make a list
Now matter how good a memory you have, creating a list of the things you need to buy and the things you need to do before your event will help you stay on budget, stay organized and not over-buy or under-buy (i.e. forget!) items you’ll be kicking yourself for not having later.
2. Cook in advance
Thinking of cooking for your party day-of? Big mistake — huge! The day of your event should be dedicated to preparing the space, decorating and getting ready. (Hey, the party host needs to look good, too.) Plus, you’ll be thankful to have saved time in the event of last minute issues. Instead, prepare the foods you can beforehand, likely the night before.
3. Clean as you go
One of the biggest stresses caused by throwing a party is the messy aftermath. However, you can alleviate much of the burden by cleaning up as the night progresses. For example, as you notice spills, clean them up quickly instead of waiting until later. Collect trash and throw it out as you find it, and place dishes in the dishwasher instead of allowing them to pile up in the sink.
4. Expect the unexpected
Sometimes more folks than you anticipated show up for your holiday party—or people who didn’t RSVP, or people who you may have invited at the last minute. Oops! Always be sure to have plenty of extra food and beverages on hand so you can accommodate any surprise guests. In addition, it’s smart to have a handful of extra gift bags tucked away with thoughtful yet flexible presents ready for those awkward moments when someone brings you an unexpected gift. Some great wine, chocolates, candles, beautiful scarfs and toiletries (think Lush or Bath & Body Works) go a long way.
5. Make it a potluck
Stressed about staying within your budget? Not sure what your party guests will like to eat? Or just looking to shake things up? Make your party a potluck and encourage your friends to bring their favorite homemade or take-out dish! This way, you can achieve delicious variety while saving your budget for gifts, fun decor, and games!