Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to throw a fabulous Christmas party

The holiday season is right around the corner, and you may be considering hosting a Christmas party at your home this year. When it comes to throwing a successful party, planning is very important. And planning ahead will save you time and headaches. Here are some tips for planning a fabulous Christmas party both you and your guests will remember for years to come:

Since the holiday season is full of parties, you should send out invitations three weeks in advance. Why? The earlier you send them out, the less likely it is that your guests will have committed to another event. The invitation should include the start and end time of your party, what food you're serving and directions to your home.

When deciding on a menu, choose items that can be made in advance, like certain appetizers and desserts that can be made and frozen weeks ahead of time. Other recipes can be created a few days before and kept in the refrigerator-- you can just bake and complete on the day of the party. Keep in mind that parties are not the time to try a new recipe. Try a new item before the party, or stick with recipes that work.

By serving heavy finger foods instead of recipes that need dinnerware, you'll keep the risk of spills down and lessen the amount of dishes you'll have to wash later. But if you do serve food that requires dinnerware, be sure you have table seating for guests to sit down-- it'll be easier on you. And if you really don't want to clean, use nice plasticware that can be thrown out.

Think about traffic flow. Put your bar near the ice and drinks, place dishes of finger foods on side tables and buffets throughout the entertaining area; supply enough chairs so at least half of your guests can sit at one time; place several trash cans discreetly near food tables and the bar to avoid plate pileups and kitchen traffic jams.

Set the atmosphere with holiday music in the background and/or by lighting candles throughout the house. Some other ideas: Personalize the event with a special activity; ask guests to write a holiday wish in a guestbook; or invite them to join you for caroling. Small details like these will help make your party an event everyone will remember.

Finally, remember that guests love party favors! You can send them home with homemade cookies or a small ornament.

By following these tips, you're sure to have a holiday party that's fun for everyone!

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