12 Nov Holiday Party To-Do List

The festive season is upon us, and with it, all those great holiday parties. If you’d like to throw a party this year, don’t fret — you still have time to get everything ready! Follow this checklist to make sure everything gets done on time — then relax and enjoy being the hostess with the mostest!

Set the date and make your guest list.
You don’t want a date to close to the Christmas holiday, so give yourself some breathing room. Make your guest list and decide on a theme, like an “Ugly Sweater Party” or a Christmas cocktail party.

Send invitations a month in advance.
Unless you want to splurge on beautiful stationery (and if you’re hosting a formal party, you should), Paperless Post is my fav for casual holiday parties.

Plan the menu and make a grocery list.
The best thing about throwing a party around the holidays is that you don’t have to do all the cooking, unless you want to. Grocery stores, specialty shops, and restaurants are bursting with options for a great menu. Or if your party is a sit-down affair, consider having it catered. If you do decide to go the I’ll-cook-everything-myself route, plan out when to make each dish. Try to make several things ahead that can be frozen or refrigerated until the party to save time.

Make your prep list.
Take stock of your inventory and rent or borrow anything you need. This is where you can enlist the help of your wonderful friends. Ask a cocktail-proficient buddy to serve as your bartender. Ask friends to bring their favorite dishes or items that you don’t own, like serving platters or extra chairs.

Order flowers and/or greenery and plan decor.
Beautiful boughs of holiday greenery, wreaths, poinsettias…this time of year the pickings for a party are exceptional. Polish the menorahs and stock up on candles. Decorate your Christmas tree, if you want it to be the centerpiece of your party. Check Pinterest and Instagram for gorgeous, easy-to-recreate tables settings, centerpieces, and other decor. If it’s too overwhelming, consider hiring a pro to come in and deck your halls.

Buy all nonperishable food items and alcohol two weeks ahead.
Evite.com has a fantastic calculator to help you figure out how much alcohol to have on hand. The general mark is to plane for one drink per guest per hour. Then add a little more. 😉

Deep clean the house a week before.
Not only will your house sparkle for your party, but you might find that extra linen tablecloth tucked away in a closet!

Buy food and decorate two days before the party.
Pick up any food orders, flowers and greenery, and make sure you have everything on your list ready to go.

The Day Before
This is the day to finish any cooking you need to do or thaw out dishes you made ahead of time. You can warm and assemble food just before the party. Also, do any last minute dusting or vacuuming.

Day of the Party
Warm up, assemble and set out food about an hour before the party. Set out cold items about 30 minutes before. Just before guests are to arrive, turn on lights and music, and light those candles.

You’ve done the preparation, now enjoy a fabulous night with your guests!

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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