It seems like just yesterday that we were dressing up for Halloween and gorging ourselves on turkey for Thanksgiving, but it’s already almost the end of the year. The air outside is getting colder and snow has started to fall, which can only mean one thing—the holiday and winter seasons have descended upon us once again.
No matter how you choose to spend the season, it’s the perfect time to throw a party. The holidays are meant to be spent with friends and families. To make sure everything goes off without a hitch, here are four essentials that will help your holiday shindig be a part of a December to remember.
#1 Eat, Drink, & Be Merry
No party is complete without things to eat and drink. If you don’t serve pigs-in-a-blanket, why even invite people over? Serving holiday classics like eggnog and latkes is essential, but also consider going outside of the box by including dishes like Puerto Rican pasteles or a French Bûche de Noël. Don’t go overboard with the amount of food and beverages, but make sure to have a bit more than enough for everyone.
Don’t forget to make sure that the food stays at the correct temperature throughout the night as well. There’s nothing sadder than a lukewarm hot chocolate. Some catering trays and a cooler with wheels (so you can bring the drinks outside if it’s unseasonably warm) should do the trick.
#2 White Elephant
If there’s anything better than receiving a present, it’s giving one. A gift exchange is a perfect way to entertain your guests. Make sure to set a low price limit before the event (maybe around $10) so everyone can get involved. Other than that, the trading method is up to you.
It might be a good idea to buy some extra presents in case some people forget. Simple (and cheap) options work best like:
- Chocolates and candy
- Cute holiday candles
- Easy-to-read books
- Gift cards
Stay away from anything with limited broad appeal. You might think they’re delicious, but very few people will appreciate a pack of sardines as a gift.
#3 Perfect Your Playlist
Believe it or not, outside of politics and religion, holiday music might be the most contentious topic you can discuss. People have very strong opinions about the best and worst tunes played during the season. Therefore, it’s hard to select which songs to include in your playlist.
Try and stick to the crowd-pleasers. If you aren’t sure about what to pick, ask a few friends to help contribute and do some research into the holiday music that gets people going! When in doubt, share the aux cord (or the Bluetooth connection!).
#4 Deck the Halls
We’re not exactly sure where you go to buy a “bough of holly,” but there are plenty of other decorating options to explore. Most already know about the obvious Christmas decorations like stockings, ornaments, and the all-important tree. However, including things from all of the holidays your guests celebrate is a great way to make sure everyone feels included in the festivities.
Some multicultural options include:
- Menorahs to light for your celebration
- Rangolis give the party a splash of color
- A Festivus pole “for the rest of us”
Just make sure to be respectful of the cultures you are representing. Paper snowflakes, string lights, and wreaths are also great non-denominational options!
Note: Depending on where you live, current COVID-19 regulations may impact the size of the party you can have. Be sure to check on the local orders in place so that you’re not at risk of breaking any ordinances!
A Holly Jolly Party
The holidays are such a joyful time that any gathering will almost certainly be a delightful time. Don’t stress too much about planning. If you focus on these four necessities, your party will truly stand out from the general merriment of the season.