‘Tis the season to be merry, so it’s time to whip out your favorite party attire, hang all your sparkly and nostalgic holiday decor and prepare your signature holiday confections.

Throwing a holiday party can be a daunting task, even if you are an expert party planner, so we’ve prepared a checklist to ensure you cover all the bases for your shindig. Ready, set, party!

Create a Guest List

First things first—who will be attending your holiday party, and how many guests will you want to invite? Will it be a sit-down affair or casual cocktail hour? You’ll want to create a list of attendees, and then set up a system for inviting them, whether it’s through Facebook or sending out digital invites.  

Cocktails and Snacks

Next up—you’ll want to figure out what your guests will be eating and drinking. When it comes to snacks, look up easy-to-make finger foods or set up a charcuterie on eye-catching cutting boards—both of these tend to be easier for your guests to nibble on while having a conversation. Holiday potlucks are also really fun and give everyone an opportunity to exercise their creativity. When it comes to drinks, setting up a self-serve bar is a no-brainer. You won’t go wrong with serving wine and beer, but if you feel like taking it up a notch, consider crafting a holiday punch to get everyone in the spirit.

Decorate Like a Pro

You don’t have to drop a lot of money to set the holiday mood for your party. Consider creating a candy bar with candies in the color of the holiday at hand; for example, you can have jars filled with candy hearts for Valentine’s Day or red and green Skittles and M&Ms for Christmas. Make it even more festive by setting up the jars on an acrylic tray with a festive print. If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner party, you can also set the table with ornaments near every place setting or place holiday-themed throw pillows in various sizes on each chair. Lastly, nothing creates the holiday mood more than garlands and wreaths—make sure you don’t forget the mistletoe!

Curate a Holiday Playlist

Whether you’re blasting Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You or George Michael’s Last Christmas, you’ll want to curate a playlist before the party. Consider more ambient tunes for the first hour or so, allowing your guests to catch up, and then switching it up with dance music when everyone has dined and snacked. If you’re unsure of what to play, don’t fret—both Spotify and Pandora have many holiday playlists for you to choose from.

Party Gifts for Guests

A gift exchange is on par for many holiday traditions, so consider how you’ll want to orchestrate this. You can’t go wrong with a white elephant party, which is sure to entertain everyone as well. We suggest gifting gorgeous art prints by talented artists around the world, coffee mugs with bold statements, visually striking coasters or curating a stationary kit with stickers and notebooks.

Written by Hina Khan

 

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