Cut down on your holiday stress while planning the perfect gathering with these Dinner Party Tips.
The holidays are the perfect time to get-together with friends and family. Seeing them is always fun, it’s planning the party that can be difficult. I love party planning as long as I don’t let stress get in the way, and I use these dinner party tips to help.
Holiday Dinner Party Tips: How to Host the Perfect Gathering
Decorate to Set the Mood
When I decorate for the holidays, I love to be festive. I think without decorations; your party doesn’t look as serious. You don’t have to go expensive or all out, but a few holiday decorations can make a visual punch.
Pick one or two “statement” pieces to set the mood. Just adding a big holiday wreath or ribbons to your everyday lights and candle holders can really change how your place feels.
Pick Out Festive Dinnerware
One of my favorite parts of throwing a dinner party is picking out dinnerware. There are some really fun plates out there to use during the holidays. If you have the “good stuff,” now’s the time to pull them out of storage. Or get some festive and inexpensive plates to set the tone. Even bright-colored chargers that sit under your everyday dinnerware can help make your table pop.
Little known fact — even if you have good China, much of the newer versions can go right into your dishwasher using the gentler cycle. It has changed how I view using our China and encourages me to get it out more often and enjoy it.
Set the Table
Another favorite dinner party tips is to properly set the table. Get out the festive placemats and napkins. Have some fun with the napkin rings! But make sure everything is set up before your guests arrive. There’s nothing more inviting than a pre-set table.
Also, you need to have a place for everyone. Make a list of everyone who is attending and set the table for each person. Use fun name cards for everyone to stay even more organized and make everyone feel extra welcome.
A favorite thing we do when we have a larger crowd is put down name cards to arrange seating. But for dessert, we have everyone turn their cards inside out only to discover there is a new name for that seat — surprise seating! Everyone then moves to their new place, allowing everyone to mix and mingle while having dessert and coffee. It has always been a hit.
Don’t forget the appetizers
Ah, appetizers are always the life of the party. I love pre-making apps and putting them in the fridge. But you have to make sure you have the storage!
Pick a Drink Theme for the Night
Even if folks don’t participate, they will love that you’ve added some additional festivities by picking a drink-theme. One year I made French Martinis for the family and had juice-options for the kiddos. I surprised everyone with old martini glasses and served them from a tray — old school style. We still talk about that dinner.
And of course, folks, drink responsibly!
Have an awesome main dish
In the past, I’ve always rocked a main dish and this year I intend on doing so as well. Decisions, decisions.
Pick the right music
We all know how music can make or break a party. Pick some holiday jazz for a swankier feeling, Christmas classical to mellow out the crowd or pull out holiday rock to spice up the atmosphere. You can easily set the tone of the night just by changing the music!
Have goodie bags for everyone
No matter what age group I’m throwing a party for I love to have goodie bags for everyone. Party favors are a must and the holiday season is the perfect time to put together awesome goodie bags. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top. Even an easy recipe in a mason jar decorated with some ribbon leaves a lasting impression.
Don’t allow yourself to get stressed this holiday season while throwing a dinner party!
What tips do you have for throwing the perfect dinner party for the holidays?
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