What would the holidays be without parties? Whether you want to host a Friendsgiving, holiday gift exchange or a New Year’s Eve bash, the basic rules of how to host a party remain the same.
For me personally, I learned everything I know about party throwing from Martha Stewart and the Sims, and I feel like this knowledge will serve you well. Allow me to share.
So the first thing you’ll want to do is invite people to your party (obviously). You’ll want to make sure to invite people at least 10 days in advance, but generally I like to invite people a solid two weeks in advance, because I feel like that’s long enough for people to set aside time unless they have made big plans beforehand. But this isn’t your wedding, so there’s no need to plan so far ahead of time. It’s OK for some people not to show up, and you shouldn’t take it personally as the host.
When it comes to the actual invitations, there’s no reason to send out physical ones. This isn’t your 10th birthday party, so there’s no need to bring everyone envelopes with your party invite. Just create a Facebook event with all of the necessary information your guests will need. The great thing about inviting people to parties over Facebook is that you can even see when they’ve seen your invitation, and they can choose to accept or decline the invite, so you’ll get a pretty good head count ahead of time. If someone has seen the invitation but hasn’t responded, it also wouldn’t hurt to ask if they’re coming if you really need to know the specific amount.
Now when it comes to planning the actual party, it’s always fun to come up with a theme. Maybe for something more laidback like Friendsgiving this won’t be necessary, but if you’re doing a holiday party, Ugly Christmas Sweater parties are the only way to go. Get your guests excited! With decorating, try to be festive, but don’t go overboard unless you have the extra cash to spend. I would just suggest getting some stuff from the dollar store and getting creative with that. You’ll want to give yourself a budget for decorating though, and it honestly should make up a very small fraction of that budget.
Now let’s talk about food, yay! If you’re hosting Friendsgiving, do a potluck so that you aren’t spending a ton of money and time cooking, and also so you get to try a bunch of diverse new foods you normally wouldn’t eat on your own. If you’re doing a NYE party or a holiday party, you probably don’t need to do much for food aside from some snacks. Try to be mindful of your guests dietary restrictions and pick snacks that everyone can enjoy.
Bouncing off of food, let’s talk about booze. Don’t go overboard and buy a bunch of liquor. One or two types of beer and a bottle of vodka and some cocktail ingredients are probably all you really need. Or you could do wine if you prefer that. A lot of times, if your guests really want to drink something very specific they’ll bring it on their own, or at least pitch in on Venmo to help you buy it.
Now let’s talk about setting the tone of your party. You’re going to want to have a playlist ready beforehand. You can browse through Spotify and look for ones that you really like, or you can go the extra mile and make one on your own. It really depends on what type of tone you want to set and how important the music will be when it comes to setting that tone.
When your guests start arriving, make sure to greet everyone and make them feel welcomed into your home. It’s your job as the host to make sure that everyone is accommodated for. Set rules on plus-ones, and if your guests choose to bring plus-ones, be sure to make their plus-one feel welcomed as well.
There are plenty more things you can do to be a great host at your holiday party, but these simple tips are sure to work in your favor and make sure that everyone at your party leaves having had a great time.