Preparing and Ideas for Holiday Gatherings
It truly is the season to be holly! The holiday season is easily one of the most pleasant times of the year; it’s as if everyone is instantly on a good mood everyday. But the good cheer is just one of the reasons why holiday season is enjoyable and pleasant. One good reason why people are always cheery during this time of the year? Two words: holiday party.
Indeed, these holiday events are among the causes of great holiday cheer. Who wouldn’t be happy attending holiday party and holiday events left and right? What may leave you unhappy, however, is if you’re the one in charge of the holiday party preparation. That, plus the usual hassle and bustle of the holidays, should already be a tough task for anyone. With enough planning and with some good holiday party ideas, however, it can be done.
Holiday party celebration
Your holiday party need not be extravagant or lavish—a home party would suffice. Of course, having a home party doesn’t mean you already have an excuse to slack around. First off, you need to take care of the core essentials of a home party: the mood and the space.
The mood, of course, can be altered through decorations. If you already have holiday decorations for your home, that should suffice, but you should consider tying them all together to form a cohesive theme for your décor. You are hosting a holiday party, after all, not a children’s party. If you’re fresh out of ideas (and budget to buy decors), use what you’ve got and see what majority of your decors have in common. Usually, holiday decors can be tied according to color, so go with that. The mood has to be festive, but try to be low key; if you put too much décor, your theme may seem too campy for everyone’s taste.
A home party’s major dilemma, however, is the seating. This is a matter of equipment (do you have enough seats for everyone?) and space (where everyone fit inside your house?) Check your guest list and make sure you have a seat for each guest (give or take a few, for aesthetic or practical purposes, if you don’t expect everyone to arrive at the same time and stay for the duration of the party). However, if your holiday party will only involve a few of your close friends, you living room would probably suffice—just make sure you have the other necessary holiday party essentials.
Holiday party ideas
So now that you’re organizing a holiday party, what do you do?
Start by giving themed invites for the holiday party. The theme of the invite does not have to be conveyed in the décor of the party venue (which is probably your house), but it has to be the core peg of your celebrations. Perhaps you want to be a little different to wear Halloween costumes for the party? Of course, if you want your home party to center on a theme, that would be better. For instance, why not use your favorite Christmas movie as the peg for your theme? A theme is not exactly necessary; in fact, it’ll probably cost you more money than if you simply organize a holiday get together. But it does give the party a little spice, making it different from all the other parties you have attended during the season.
One of the core issues with a simple holiday party is the food. If you are short on dough but still want to organize a fabulous party, you can set the holiday events after dinner. This way, you can simply serve snacks such as grilled sandwiches or Ceasar salad crudités. Although some may suggest a holiday party before dinner, the party extending up to dinner may be a potential problem, especially if your holiday gathering is intimate. After dinner is safe; no one will expect you to whip up main dishes because there is no other major meal after dinner. Of course, do prepare ample booze and cocktails.
If you are planning to go simple, try to hide the fact that you’re scrimping by making the snacks or dishes look fabulous. Instead of serving snacks, why not organize a chocolate holiday party? It will certainly work with the occasion—and who could ever resist chocolate? A wine and cheese affair seems elegant and apt for intimate holiday events. Or you can do a party wherein everyone gets to cook his own food (of course, this would only work if you have the necessary equipment, such as smokeless grills, among many others).
As for the cocktails, serve special, custom made ones. A holiday party is not complete without the booze, but you don’t have to spend an arm and leg to get everyone drunk. Special cocktails allow you to control the alcohol content of the drinks—which can save you money and ensure that people won’t be too wasted even before the end of the celebration.
Do organize some holiday activities during the party, such as holiday themed games. These are activities you probably wouldn’t do at any other time of the year. But since it is the holidays, you can probably get away with it. Of course, your holiday party can also be a simple get-together with friends without the cheesy holiday activities. That would be fine—as long as you have the right music. Surprise the guests by playing holiday tunes such as songs from Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Elvis Presley’s Elvis’ Christmas Album.
Spread the Christmas spirit by giving gift bags to your guests. This isn’t advisable if your holiday party is intimate, but it will be a blast if you’re really organizing a full blown party. And the gift bags don’t need to be serious—just go with the theme and you’d be fine.
In the end, what really matters with your holiday party is that you enjoy the party preparation and that everyone enjoys the party. And as long as provide the guests with the basics, they probably will.