Holiday parties are typically held between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, so how can you make sure that you can get the most people to come to yours? These can be stressful to plan, typically because there are no black and white rules on how to dress, where to throw the party, what food to serve, or what decorations to put up. Whether you’re looking for advice on how to plan a winter party or you’re trying to plan your office’s best Christmas party, here are a few ways to ensure your party is the best it can be.
Send out invitations in advance
As previously mentioned, a ton of people throw holiday parties throughout the month of December, so it’s possible that your party will conflict with someone else’s. Send your invitations out in the beginning of December (or at least two weeks before the date of your party) to give your guests as much notice as possible. Holiday-themed cards or e-vites will do the trick, and this is the best way to ensure that they attend your party.
Additionally, request RSVPs from your guests and follow up with those who do not reply. Obtaining a head count for your holiday party will help reduce stress by letting you know how much food to get and who to expect.
Don’t do it all yourself
Once you find out who’s attending the party, you can delegate tasks. You also have the option of including a list of what’s needed for the party on the invitation card. Try to coordinate between all guests to make sure that everything is brought and there aren’t too many doubles. Asking your guests to pick up simple things like soda and snacks isn’t demanding, and lessens the pressure on you to do everything.
If you’re interested in delegating goodies to each person, another option is to choose a theme for the party. Clearly list the theme on the card and allow guests to bring whatever they’d like, be it food, utensils, or even drinks that match the theme. For instance, if you’re throwing a tropical-themed holiday party, someone could choose to bring pineapple juice or umbrella embellishments.
Plan some games
Since you don’t want your guests getting bored, plan a few games to play throughout the party. Games like “Cards Against Humanity” and “What Do You Meme” are great games for parties with adult guests — add a drinking component to reward the winners and punish the losers. Night golf paired with accessories like confetti cannons and light-up hats is another option. If there are children involved, try separate activities for the children, like charades and musical chairs. You can never go wrong with dollar store prizes for the children.
Make dinner early
If you’re throwing the party at home and making your own food, don’t forget to start early. This way, it’s ready when your guests are. Your guests are probably arriving hungry, so prepare appetizers and snacks while they wait for everyone else to arrive. Whether you’re ordering food or preparing it yourself, make sure to account for any potential dietary restrictions among your guests.
Relax and have fun
Most importantly, you need to relax, have fun, and hang out with your loved ones. Holiday parties are perfect for spending time and de-stressing with friends and family. Take as many pictures as you can to remember the night and send them out along with thank-you cards to those who contributed. Don’t forget to appreciate the people around you and enjoy the night.
Although holiday parties can be stressful to plan, they don’t have to be. By planning your party in advance, making sure your guests RSVP, and delegating tasks, you can make the party as stress-free as possible. Remember to have fun, and the night will be memorable for everyone involved.