Don't get caught in the hustle and bustle of the season. Be cool, calm and fabulous for your Christmas party!
Throwing a memorable holiday party takes planning, forethought and time. But, you can make your get-together everything you ever dreamed it would be. We’ve pulled together a few easy ideas to create an enjoyable, unforgettable affair!
Get a Guest List
While it’s nice to mention your party in passing conversation, the holiday season gets too busy for people to remember all of the dates they've scheduled on their calendars. So, invitations should go out a month or more in advance. Create a list of who to invite, keeping in mind the total number of guests you’d like, as well as how comfortable they will be with each other.
Though you might like to sit and sip champagne with your neighbors and second cousins, chances are they won’t feel comfortable around each other if your party is the first time they’ve met. Keep your guest list simple and straightforward. If you’re having a neighborhood party, don’t insist your in-laws attend. If you’d like to entertain friends from church, you might want to reconsider hosting them with all of the gals from the P.T.A. The best parties are those where guests are able to mingle and catch up with acquaintances, rather than meeting totally new faces.
When planning your guest list, also remember that it will be unlikely that everyone can attend. So if you’d like 8 to 10 party guests around your dinner table, invite 12 friends and ask for RSVPs.
Pick a Party Palette
Keep your party decor simple by choosing two or three colors that accent your dinner table. Doing so will limit the amount of items you need to purchase to pull together a classy presentation. With a color palette, you’ll know exactly what you’re shopping for and won’t be sidetracked buying or trying decorations that will only clutter your party area. The color scheme can also serve as inspiration for your menu, favors and table settings, making the decorating process simple, easy and eye-catching.
Gather Needed Supplies
Once you’ve created your guest list, received RSVPs and shopped for just the right colors of napkins and plates, it’s time to make sure you have more than enough utensils, food and drinks to last the duration of the party. Nothing stops a party cold like a short supply of delicious food (or forks!). To ensure you have enough of everything you need, shop ahead of time for napkins, cups, utensils, party favors, drinks and food.
Consider the amount of a single serving for each party guest, and then prepare one additional serving for every 3 to 4 party guests. For instance, if you have 12 party guests coming, make sure you’ve got 15 sets of utensils ready for the meal. If you plan on serving 4 meatballs per person, you’ll want to prepare a total of 60 meatballs for a party of 12. Planning ample servings without going overboard will make your party comfortable and enjoyable for everyone…including you!
Plan a Magical Menu
Whether you’re serving dinner, dessert or appetizers, a menu of delicious eats is the best way to entice your guests to sit back, relax and celebrate. Find amazing recipes for every type of menu right here on BettyCrocker.com.
Create a casual soup night with one of these beautiful recipes. Or, fancy up the evening with Elegant Beef Tenderloin, the perfect cheese plate or hundreds of other incredible meals that your guests are sure to love.
Prepare Party Favors
Personalize your party by creating name tags for place settings, small gifts for your guests and homemade party favors to say your goodbyes. Simple touches can turn your party into a warm, cozy affair. Try wrapping candy in small cellophane bags, tucking fresh-baked cupcakes into Chinese take-out boxes or offering your favorite Betty Crocker® cookie mixes with a cute metal cookie cutter.
Give It Some Heart
The best parties are where guests feel welcomed and pampered. Once you’ve put all your best plans into place, settle in with your party guests and savor conversations with them, letting them know how much you care for them. When it all comes down to it, you may burn the dessert or forget to buy napkins, but everyone will enjoy themselves if they feel like they’ve been given your heart.