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Holiday Party Planning: Stick to what you do best and let others do the rest

By: Ellen Lampe


Plan the Perfect Party

Hosting for the holidays this year? Planning and preparing to host and feed a large group isn’t easy, and the pressure can put a damper on the host’s ability to enjoy their own party.

If you are playing the role of host this year, remember that you should be enjoying the party alongside your guests. Whether this means catering in food so you don’t have to cook, or hosting the party in a venue outside of your home – there are plenty of options for stress-free holiday hosting.

When it comes to planning the perfect party, our advice to you is simple: stick to what you do best and let others do the rest.

Food

Love entertaining but hate cooking? Then having your party catered is the way to go.

Have you ever been to a party or event where you were disappointed that the food was catered? Neither have we.

Catering ensures your guests will have excellent food while saving you the hassle of having to research recipes, endure crowded grocery stores, find time to cook, do dishes, dig out your nice serving platters and all the other things that can make entertaining stressful. With catering, it’s all taken care of professionally.

Forget any possible stressful recipe blunders or “Pinterest fails.” Having your party catered will leave a positive impression on your guests by ensuring the food is warm, tasty and plentiful.

Restaurants who cater typically have menu options to suit all ages and dietary restrictions, making it easy to order a selection that everyone will enjoy.

The restaurant will be able to make recommendations on how much food to order based on your number of guests, so you don’t have to fret about running out of food or having loads of leftovers.

If you are a wizard in the kitchen and plan to take on the task yourself, our best advice is to prep everything you can in advance and, again, stick to what you know best. Sticking to tried-and-true recipes reduces and the chances of a mistake, and it can actually make cooking quite pleasant – perhaps evoking a sense of nostalgia while baking grandma’s famous pie or reading her cherished, weathered recipe card.

Venue

Want to host but don’t want to do it in your home? Consider hosting an “off-site” party.

Many restaurants have rooms for private parties, which create the perfect intimate space for your group complete with superb food. You can still play the role of “host” in a space like this by bringing in your own décor and providing entertainment such as a group game.

This saves all the hassle of having to cook or clean in your own home, yet you can still have the satisfaction of planning a memorable party.

And, if you’re looking for something beyond the traditional restaurant, consider alternative venues such as a bowling alley! Cater your favorite food there while enjoying an activity in which the whole family can participate.

Décor

Part of hosting a holiday party is creating a warm and festive atmosphere for your guests. Pro tip: decide on two or three main colors for your holiday décor for a professionally coordinated look.

No matter how many stores you stop in to or whatever assortment of items you buy, your décor items will complement each other beautifully if their color schemes coincide.

For example, try a warm bronze/gold, forest green and white ensemble for “evergreen” décor. These colors transition nicely from fall through Christmas and stay relevant through the rest of winter as they are not tied to one specific holiday.

Having a color palette in mind for décor makes shopping easier as you can pass right by the items that don’t fit.

No winter ensemble is complete without soft candle lighting. But consider swapping real candles for battery-operated ones, which can function on a convenient timer setting and offer a safer way to set the mood.

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