Let’s Party! 8 Tips for Easy, Breezy Holiday Hosting

party tips

The major holidays are just around the corner, and what does that mean? Friends, family, good food, and gatherings! Holiday parties are one of the joys of the season.

Will you be hosting this Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s? That usually entails shopping, cooking, cleaning, and setting up for the festivities before your guests arrive – not to mention the stress that can come along with it all.

As we get older, it becomes more difficult to host parties the way we did in our younger years. Most of us don’t have endless energy anymore, so a few adjustments to our expectations and plans go a long way.

Use these 8 tips to make your life easier when party time rolls around.

1. Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
This is the top tip for a reason. No one wants to be too pooped to pip when their guests arrive.
Asking for help begins with making a very clear and concise request. For instance: “I’d really like to host a holiday party but I could really use some help setting the table and decorating the room. Could you help me with that?”
Asking for something very specific is more likely to get a positive response.
Delegating certain chores to those who want to help can ease the burden for you and lead to more enjoyment of the party for everyone.

2. Outsource What You Can
Are friends and family unable to provide the help you need? If that’s the case, there are some things about a party you can outsource to companies and individuals who specifically cater to those needs. This might include someone who comes in to professionally clean parts of your home before or after the party, a company that supplies food and drinks for the event, or even a company that provides outdoor tents, tables, chairs, and dance floors.
Though something like catering might seem like a lavish expense, consider how valuable your time and good health really are. Local, family-owned restaurants may be willing to put together affordable party trays, and oftentimes, catering platters can even be ordered from your neighborhood grocery store! The last thing you want to do is host a holiday party and be too exhausted to actually enjoy time with your guests. Using a vendor can free up your time and energy to truly devote it to your guests and can often be done affordably.

3. Plan and then Pace Yourself
When you’re planning an event, make a list of what needs to be done well in advance and then break it down into small, manageable chunks. The sooner you begin, the easier it will be as you tackle preparations one day at a time.

4. Keep the Guest List Small
The larger the party, the more preparation is required, and the less time you get to spend with each person. That can mean that when it’s all said and done, you had a house full of guests but you don’t feel as though you really spent quality time with them.

Consider what you and your home can comfortably handle. If you have many friends and many family members that you would like to entertain, consider hosting a few small events across the span of the holiday season, inviting a different group each time.

5. Make Your Home Comfortable
If you’re going to host people in your home, make sure the house is clean, clutter-free, and comfortable for your guests. This means making sure there’s plenty of seating, even if that means renting chairs or acquiring a few card tables. You also may wish to hire a cleaning service before and/or after the party.

6. Consider Slow Cookers
The mighty slow cooker can make preparing party foods easy. You can put almost anything in a slow cooker, including entrée meats like pork or chicken, warm dips, small finger foods, and so much more.
While you’re making things easier for yourself in the kitchen, don’t hesitate to go with disposable everything – plates, bowls, utensils, cups, etc. You can even opt for inexpensive plastic containers with lids so that your guests can take some food home with them and make cleanup easier for you. The less you have to wash and put away, the better!

7. Ask Guests to Bring a Little Something
Who says you have to do all the work yourself? Potlucks are incredibly popular because every person pitches in a little something, thus easing the workload and the financial burden.
The interesting thing is that even if you don’t ask your guests to bring something, they often will. 39% of those who attend a party bring wine for the host, 18% bring baked goods of some kind, and 8% bring plants or flowers. Since your guests may already be planning to bring you something and wondering what that should be, simply ask them to bring an appetizer or a dessert or a bottle of wine or a loaf of bread to easily get those items checked off your list.

8. Recruit Help for Cleanup
Even if you’ve pared down to small groups and used disposable everything, or even if you’ve hired someone to cater your event, you might still have some cleaning up to do when the party is over. But that’s the time when you’re likely exhausted from all the activity and the last thing you want to do is take out the trash!

Ask a friend or family member to help with some of the cleanup. As the saying goes, many hands make light work, making cleanup faster and easier, giving you time to relax before bed while reliving the good memories of your successful holiday event!

Alert1 wishes you a happy, healthy, safe holiday season.