11 Steps to Organising the Perfect Holiday Party

party tips

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I always look forward to the holiday season because it is a time to relax, chill out and catch up with friends and family. Most often, I will invite people whom I have not seen for quite awhile to my house for a small party during this time. Having people over to my home for meals is something very normal to me.

If you have not organised a holiday party before, perhaps you can invite your friends and family to your house this time. With careful planning, I can assure you that you will have a great time!
As it’s your first time organising a party, it would be useful getting to know exactly how to plan for your party.

Below are my tips:-

The Best Steps to Organise a Great Holiday Party

Step 1: Determine how many people to invite

Let’s face it. Ideally, you would love to invite practically everyone you know to your party. But with your house space restrictions, it’s a good idea to be honest about how many guests you can actually fit at home. Be realistic and list down who you really want to invite. If you have to leave out some friends for this year’s gathering, don’t feel bad about it. You can always put them down for your next year’s party. No hard feelings.

Step 2: Decide your party theme

With the ample resources you can obtain online and through lifestyle magazines, you can easily get party ideas to help you decide on the best party theme for you. Among some of the popular types of parties are such as formal and elegant holiday get-togethers and sit-down dinners as well as casual cocktail parties. I prefer organising buffet parties simply because having this sort party enables me to maximise my home space for more guests to sit down while giving me the opportunity to utilise my dining table to display all kinds of foods and drinks.

Step 3: Fix the date, time, guest list and send invitations

Once you have settled these first two steps, you have to determine your party date, time and guest list. After this, you can send your invitations via email, post or telephone calls.

Step 4: Ask your guest about their food allergies and diet restrictions

After your friends and family have confirmed that they are coming to your party, make sure to ask them about their food allergies and diet restrictions. This is a crucial step that you need to do before determining your party menu.

Step 5: Plan an easy party food menu

In my opinion, nobody really cares about how long you take to prepare your dishes. The most important thing that makes the party a success is serving delicious and appealing food that would be crowd-pleasers. I would usually prepare easy party food when organising a party at home. I make sure that I serve plenty of food. But each dish would only require minimal amount of preparation time.

Great starters or appetizers for parties that I would recommend are such as cheese and dip platters, seafood platters and simple short crust pastries.

For the mains, I would highly suggest you to make roast meats such as pork roast, turkey, duck or even glazed ham. Roasts are great because they require minimal effort, but can feed a huge crowd. If you are not good at making roasts, you can also make casseroles.

To complement your main meals, it’s best to have some side dishes as well. Simple to prepare side meals are such as fruit and vegetable salads, mashed potatoes, potato bake, or lasagna. You can turn practically any salad into a gourmet salad by just adding dried fruits, raisins, nuts, quinoa or burghul. These ingredients not only make your salads look and taste great. They also add texture to them.

As for the drinks, I would usually serve drinks that do not need any preparation at all such as wines and soft drinks. It you would like to make the extra effort to make your own drinks, then you can make a fruit punch.

Step 6: Get ready your party decorations

There’s no need to overly fuss about your party decorations. Really, most guests are more concerned about the great tasting food more than anything else! But if you really want to wow your guests, I suggest you to get a bouquet of flowers as well as beautiful tablecloth and placemats to complete the look of your dining table.

Step 7: Write your shopping list and buy things according to your schedule

With your party food menu in hand, list down the things you need to get for your bash. Some things such as dried fruits, nuts, dips, cheeses and crackers can be bought earlier. Some other ingredients such as seafood and meats should be bought nearer to the party date to ensure freshness.

Step 8: Make some dishes the day before the party

As it’s practically impossible to finish making all your dishes on the party day itself, plan ahead!

You can make your appetizers a day in advance. It will save you a lot of time and energy on the party day. Among some popular holiday appetizers that you can prepare a day ahead are such as pigs in a blanket, brown sugar smokies, vol au vents, mini quiches and spinach and cheese pastries. After preparing them, simply re-heat them before the party.

For desserts, you may want to buy them from bakeries if you do not have enough time making them yourself. If you really want to make your desserts, simple ones that you can make are chocolate brownies, apple pies and mini fruit tarts.

Step 9: Make your roast meats, salads and side dishes on the party day

Roast meats are best eaten fresh out of the oven. So time your roasts so that you can have them done just when the party has started. While the meats are roasting in the oven, you can prepare your salads and other side dishes.

Step 10: Spring clean your house, decorate the dining table and place your dishes

When your roast is in the oven on the day of the party, clean your house and start decorating the dining table. Having a perfectly clean house doesn’t happen in a day if your house is really messy. So if you have a tornado struck house, please start cleaning a week in advance! Only do minor cleaning on the day of the party.

Step 11: Refresh yourself at least 1 hour before the party, and enjoy!

Get up early to prepare for your party on the day of the party. That way, you have at least 1 hour to freshen up and relax before your guests arrive.

I guess this concludes my tips on how to organise an awesome holiday party. Did you find any of these tips useful? Or do you have any other tips to share?

Caroline Poh

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