How to Plan a Great, and Inexpensive, Holiday Party
The holidays are a great time to invite friends over to celebrate the season. But you want to be able to enjoy time with your company and not be stuck in your kitchen. If you don’t plan well, an evening of celebrating can turn into stressful night very quickly. Here are a few great tips to get you party-ready:
- Pre-plan. Planning a party at the last minute will have you running around trying to buy everything you need, making all the food and decorating right up until the guests arrive. Take the stress out by making your plans in advance.
Know who you’re going to invite. Make a guest list and send out your invitations at least a week in advance. A general email is fine, but why not try creating a fun holiday invitation on Evite or Paperless Post. Your guests will be able to easily RSVP and send you comments. Or go old school and drop your invitations in the mail. Your guests will love getting a special envelope in their mailbox.
Plan your menu. What are you going to serve? Put together a menu of the items you’d like to offer. Is there anything you can make or purchase in advance? Throwing a party can be expensive, but if you can plan your menu in advance and start to purchase ingredients or frozen items ahead of time, you can usually save yourself both time and money. Search Pinterest, your favorite magazines and assorted cookbooks to plan your menu. Determine what can be made in advance and frozen. Look for recipes that produce large quantities with only a few ingredients to save money.
Plan your décor. Look for party supplies and decorations online, you can usually find great deals. Take a look around your house. What do you already have that can be repurposed into party decorations? Candles and a few small floral arrangements can make for inexpensive decorations.
- Get Ready. Do as much in advance as possible. Prepare your food, decorate your table, clean house, hang decorations in the days before the big event. Enlist the help of friends and family to run last minute errands or help you decorate. The more you can do in advance, the more you will be able to enjoy your own party. Make a checklist of everything that needs to be done and all the food you need to prepare then cross things off as you go. This will keep you organized and stress-free.
- Day Of. Prepare any last minute menu items, set up a beverage station and set your food out on the table. Make sure you have plenty of ice, cups, plastic utensils, napkins and plates available. If possible, set them up in a few locations to ease the traffic flow at your buffet table. Create smaller stations for food so everything isn’t at just one table. This will make it much easier for your guests to fill their plates without standing in a long line.
Then, most importantly, fix yourself a plate and enjoy your own party! Planning a party doesn’t have to be stressful and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. All of these steps can be done with just a few days’ notice and will keep you relaxed and stress-free.