It’s been years since I’ve had a holiday party, so I decided I’d invite my friends to help decorate my Christmas tree. We had a great time.
Here are my top 10 tips for having the best holiday party ever:
1. Give your guests plenty of notice. I used evite for the first time. It worked well. I knew right away that about seven guests couldn’t come. Call friends you don’t have e-mails for.
2. Start early getting ready. Cleaning always takes longer than you think.
3. Plan your menu in advance. Choose some items that are prepared in advance. I bought a meat tray from Costco. It was O.K. I didn’t get the vegetable tray because sometimes the veggies offered in them don’t taste that fresh. I bought organic vegetables at the food co-op and served them with organic Ranch Dressing.
4. Think through the drinks you’ll serve. Most of my friends drink wine, and I’ve had left over beer in years past. This year, I bought wine and eggnog. I don’t drink coffee, so I was going to skip it this year and serve tea. However, one of my early helpers asked for coffee. I asked another early guest to go buy a carafe of coffee at a nearby Starbucks.
5. Round up all your wine glasses, coffee cups, and silverware so you don’t have to buy paper plates, plastic glasses, and plastic silverware. Plastic forks and spoons are on the list of “15 Things You Should Never Buy Again.”
6. Select a tablecloth and think about what kind of centerpiece would look nice. I wanted a small vase of red-and-white roses. I choose tulips instead because a friend has allergies. They looked nice with my new red tablecloth I purchased in Italy.
7. Call friends you’d really like to see who haven’t responded to the evite. That worked well. Two friends came due to the calls – one’s e-mail was down and the other had just returned from vacation and hadn’t gone through her old e-mails
8. Revise your plans if needed. I wanted to make holiday bread so my home would smell great when the guests arrived. I ran out of time and skipped the project.
9. Ask for help. I asked a friend to come early to help. I was sure happy to see her. She prepared the vegetable tray and made Deviled Eggs. I also ran out of time to cut the tree down in my yard. Two other friends came an hour ahead of time to help with it.
10. Enjoy yourself and take the time to visit with your guests. Since I had help in the kitchen and with the tree, I was able to greet guests when they arrived.
Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist