8 Tips for Holiday Party Planning Confidence

grammie cocktailI’ve loved parties since I was knee high to
a grasshopper. {That is me (white Barrett) and Gigi (fuchsia dress) in the photo} My mother and grandmother have entertained many through the years and the memories of fabulous times have helped shape my modern day love of a great get together. Both Mom and Gigi let me help in their party preparations; put ice in the ice-bucket, line up the Double-Old Fashion’s on the bar, fill the cashew bowls…. Oh, how I loved the
IMG_0396[4]anticipation before the party hour. I anxiously awaited for the well dressed-up grown-ups to arrive. Then the first knock at the door came and us kids went flying to our hide outs whispering “their here”. Carrying gifts and laughter, each guest seemed excited to connect with friends for a few adult hours. This memory has stayed with me and shaped my adulthood. Now that I‘m all grown up — I long to throw the parties I once witnessed as a child. There is such enjoyment having friends over. Some people get anxious with this thought. And I understand, hosting parties takes practice. But if you start off small and work your way up to a big shindig, success will be yours. I hope with these 8 simple tips anyone can have a great gathering no
matter what the size or your personal confidence level.

Nov matthew party 0341. A host/hostess who is at ease and takes everything in stride will have a relaxing, entertaining party. A stressed out hostess will have guests who can’t wait to
reach for their car keys, make the hidden signal to their partner and blame their early departure on the sitter. So try to Relax – have a glass of wine if it helps.

2. When I’m preparing for a dinner party, depending on my numbers, I think about the of tone the gathering. Will it be a casual dinner party, a Sunday dinner with family or an elegant meal with china and silver? Setting the tone makes all of the other decisions flow easily. Prepare for the group you are inviting. IMG_0400

3. Once the tone has been set the next decision is whether or not to have a sit down or buffet meal? The number of guests and how much seating you have in your home will help you answer this question. Just make sure you have plenty of food for everyone (err on the side of having a refrigerator of leftovers). Buffet or Sit
Nov matthew party 026b

4. Also consider where to set up your
booze. My parents’ always had a Bar, they still do. I however, do not. In my home I set up a bar in an area designed for liquid libation. Furthermore, during parties, I take away all my mommy office paraphernalia and bring in the glasses, trays, cocktail napkins, and wine buckets with ice. Map out your BOOZE area.

5. It’s important for your home to be fresh for your friends, so don’t forget to clean a day or two before the party. Make sure the powder room is dazzling and stocked with hand towels that smell like Downey Fabric Softener. As for all your clutter? Hide it in the master bedroom closet. And those baskets of laundry that still need folding; tuck them away in a random bedroom for the night. A Clean House will put guests at ease.

Nov matthew party 030

6. The day of the party arrange flowers and set up the bar. Take out the bar glasses and make sure they are clean without pesky H2O spots. Prepare any food that can be done ahead of time. Try to have all your last minutes details complete HOURS before your party. This will enable you to Be Bored before your guest arrive, lowering anxiety levels.

7. Have your back ground MUSIC ready. Here is a fun Dancy Dance playlist for a casual

  • Hollaback Girl  Gwen Stefani
  • Lust for Life Iggy Pop
  • Get the Party Started P!nk
  • Push It Salt-N-Pepa
  • Who Let the Dogs Out  Baha Men
  • Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Just Lose It Eminem
  • Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It Will Smith
  • SexyBack (feat. Timbaland) Justin Timberlake
  • Baby Got Back Sir Mix A Lot
  • We Are  Family Sister Sledge
  • Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) Beyoncé
  • Just Dance Lady GaGa
  • The Twist Chubby Checker
  • Tequila The Champs
  • Love Shack The B-52’s
  • Brick House The Commodores
  • Don’t Stop the Music Rihanna
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen

8. After the first guests arrive, hang their coat, stow their purse and offer them a drink. Appetizers should also be ready to go. But above all SMILE. Remember a relaxed hostess makes a party fun – so enjoy your beloved friends and have FUN.

5 responses

  1. This is a great post Kathleen. Where are you located? We just launched our Top 8 tips in regards to Holiday Party Etiquette: http://notabletv.com/2010/lifestyle/holiday-party-etiquette-what-to-do-and-what-not-to-do/ Enjoy and great work.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  2. Nancy Lindley

    Yes, you bring back such treasured memoried. Of course you know that I attended those parties at your house and gave many of my own. Our group gave parties constantly. Your parents, the Bradshaws, the Andres, the Coils, the Aitkens, the Alfords, the Guards and on and on. We gave summer outdoor parties, dinner parties, and especially Christmas parties. Starting the first weekend in December it was parties at nighttime and daytime open houses. All of this was pre-Costco. We worked on hor d’ouvres for days. Honey Baked Hams with tiny rolls for building your own sandwitch was one shortcut which was popular.
    You are so right about doing everything possible way ahead of time. I set the table, put out the serving dishes with notes in them about what to put in them, arranged the flowers, rearranged the furniture to provide as much seating as possible (standing all evening in spiked heels is not my idea of fun), made little signs to identify regular or decaf, etc. Before party time I got dressed very early and did any last minute things so that I could enjoy the party, too.

    December 7, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    • Nancy, thank you for your wonderful influence as well. xoxo

      December 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

  3. Pingback: Monday mashup: Tons of holiday fun, and a new meaning for MILF - OC Moms: The Mom Blog : The Orange County Register

  4. Pingback: Monday mashup: Tons of holiday fun, and a new meaning for MILF – OC Moms: The Mom Blog : The Orange County Register | sales-sales-sales.net

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