A little birdie told me you've decided to throw a holiday party... or maybe you're still thinking about it but are a bit overwhelmed by the details. The crunch time is on... can you get it done? Where do you start? Will it be fun and worth the stress?
Believe me, I get it, after running around all week getting "work work" finished enough is enough. Once I get home I simply want to sit on the couch with a glass of something and chill out. But that doesn't mean it isn't possible. So let's cut to the chase I'm here to help share how can you balance your work life and still host a fabulous holiday party without losing your mind. Shall we?
The best way to be organized is to make a list— giving yourself a check list will help you stay on track and not forget a single detail! Why don't we break it down— what makes a party is an the company, the ambience, a festive well-balanced cocktail, small and tasty hors d'oeuvres, great music, and a group gift exchange.
Maybe you send a group text, or perhaps you're partial to e-mail. It's easy to craft up a message or a cute graphic with details of the date, time, and if a gift should be brought or not. Maybe you're hosting a pot-luck and need to share which types of dishes your guests can bring. Remember communication helps eliminate confusion or any last-minute texts from all your party guests.
When we think of the holidays we think of an inviting door adorned with a wreath, with flickering, soft candle light inside and garland woven around columns, railings or gates. That's precisely why life-like, but fake wreaths, garland and battery candles were invented! Once you have the materials you are good to go— you can decorate in the days prior or in the hours prior depending on what fits into your schedule.
Dig up that wreath from out of the closet or purchase a new one! My favorite store for faux plants is Palm Bungalow, located on Antique Row at 3716 South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Click to see their wreath, garland and battery-candle offerings.
Garland can come in many shapes and sizes— maybe you're a traditionalist and prefer pine or perhaps you want a different aesthetic and prefer Eucalyptus. Choose which suits you best! And don't forget to keep the soft dancing light going without the fire hazard, flip those switches "on" and you're good to go. No reason to worry about children messing with the open flame or lights extinguishing during the party.
What's easier than mixing a batch cocktail recipe like a Sangria, an infused vodka or a seasonal tequila drink that is chilled and ready to serve? Have a few pitchers made, maybe you even have an iced beverage dispenser. Put the glasses of your choice alongside and voila. Maybe you have a shallow bowl for an easy-access salt rim and tah-dah, drinks are served.
My latest go-to is this Cranberry Citrus Paloma Punch by Tris of Fresh Flavorful. Sometimes I am too busy to even create my own recipe, so I love to incorporate Tequila (my favorite alcohol) and a Paloma is another go-to cocktail mine. Put some cranberries in it for a holiday-twist.
Quick, but delicious bites
This is where something like the butter board can come into play. How easy is this treat? You leave the butter out on the counter until it gets to room temp, smear it across a beautiful serving board and select your favorite toppings! I love cutting up fresh baguette, but you can also serve toast-points, warm rolls or even serve your favorite crackers.
Toppings can include—
Cinnamon Brown Sugar
Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
Edible Flowers Orange Zest
Drizzled Honey Fresh Thyme, Basil, Parsley
Dried Fruit (Cranberries/ Raisins/ Cherries/ Apricots)
Nuts like Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts, Roasted Sunflower Seeds, Sweet & Spicy Pecans
If you're not one to prep food of any kind head over to your favorite artisanal market, like Trader Joes. They have great prepared foods in the frozen section like Brie En Croute that is perfect to pop in the oven and have waiting for guests!
Queue the music!~
While you're on the go and have a moment start crafting your Holiday Playlist. Or maybe that's too big an endeavor, that's okay I'm sure your preferred streaming service has plenty you can queue. I love The Merry Lofi Christmas playlist on Spotify— it's full of classic songs refashioned into a chill vibe. Classic Christmas is another great one with favorites from Brenda Lee and Bing Crosby.
Remember, if you use Bluetooth speakers make sure they are charged because once you press play the tone will be set and help pad any (potentially uncomfortable) silences.
The Gift Exchange
Gifts can be a drag— shopping for them, wrapping them, choosing them... but a White Elephant gift exchange is fun, interactive and adds a lot of laughs to a party. You can tell your guests to bring a wrapped offering that is funny or you can give them a price range. Here is a link to learn how to play the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game!
I hope these suggestions have helped and have gotten your planning mind in the spirit. You can do this! Cheers, Jack