All of your presents have been purchased and wrapped (at least almost), and it’s time to put the finishing touches on your perfect Christmas party -- Here are seven must-haves for entertaining this holiday.
Set the stage with candles and soft, warm lighting to create an intimate atmosphere for your guests. Pay attention to seat flow and how smoothly people will be able to move around your home, taking the time to relocate pieces of furniture if need be, to avoid any bottlenecking or overcrowding in one room over the others. The goal here will be to create an atmosphere in which distractions are removed, and party essentials (food, drinks, conversation, etc.) are easy to access, so guests can effortlessly focus on one another!
Plenty of seating
If you’re hosting a dinner party and have invited eight or fewer guests, allow them to seat themselves; with more than eight, be prepared to give direction or create decorative place cards if needed. Be sure to have additional seating made easily accessible around the perimeter of the room, ready to be pulled up to the table for those last minute friends.
If your party is not including dinner, do not feel like you have to have a seat available for every guest. Typically in this circumstance, guests will tend to stand chatting to one another for the majority of the party. For the end of the evening, prepare a few conversational groupings of chairs for when a thinner crowd of guests remain.
It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or world-changingly creative, but your playlist does need to set the tone. Take the time to make a playlist ahead of time, so you’re not always worrying about what to play next. Have your background music playing at a low volume when guests arrive, to engender an inviting atmosphere during the sometimes awkward introduction stages and to set the scene for the evening to come.
Powder Room Essentials
Save yourself and your guests a few uncomfortable moments by equipping each of your powder rooms with plenty of toilet paper, full soap pump, hand towels, and air fresheners (candles, potpourri, essential oils, etc.). Adding extra essentials will prevent over-used hand towels and other sticky situations. If you want to take this a step towards the exceedingly bougie, you can also create a basket of supplies for your guests to freshen up throughout the evening, like hair ties, hairspray, spray on deodorant, breath mints, floss, nail file, etc.
Prepared Drinks & A Mobile Bar
Drinks and drink vessels (a.k.a. cups) should be plentiful, with a couple of pre-approved seasonal options prepared for party-goers to pour quickly and keep chatting!
Since guests tend to gather in the kitchen, place a second or your primary drink bar somewhere in the corner of your living room to disperse the crowd. Keep in mind that some guests might not feel comfortable enough to go hunting for drinks, so make sure to place your bar in plain view. You might even want to extend this thoughtfulness to food as well, locating the appetizers and main entrees in different rooms to spread out traffic and make your home easy to maneuver.
A Coat Rack
This one is simple, but necessary! Help guests avoid stuffing their coat in a corner or 16 of them from draping their warm-weather-wear over one chair. Provide a place for friends and family to hang coats and leave bags but making room in a hallway closet creating a “coat-room” in an out of the way office or bedroom--perhaps even complete with a folding coat rack with matching coat hangers.
A Great Time!
Relax, have a drink and enjoy the fun! Not everything will be perfect, nor will everything go as planned--prepare as much as you can ahead of time so when the time comes, you can celebrate and have a blast.
Have any more tips and tricks for holiday entertaining? Tag us using #PartyWithPolyAndBark to let us know!