Turning the calendar page to Nov 1 means that the holiday season is upon us! So many parties and so much to do can leave us all feeling stretched a little thin (though not in the waistband, sadly!). Whether you are hosting a huge Thanksgiving bash, or just bringing a dish to Christmas dinner, it’s great to have a few holiday planning tips to make things easier. This year, get through all the busy-ness without risking losing your holiday spirit. We’ve made a list of some holiday party planning tips to survive this year's flurry of parties:
Be (tech) savvy
The last way you need to spend your time this holiday season is searching for a buried email that you vaguely remember containing your assigned dish or secret santa partner or *whatever*! In any way you can, use technology to help you stay organized. Use virtual invitations with built in calendar invites for your events, and consider creating a holiday calendar to sync with your SO. For your friends-giving pot-luck, use one of the many apps that makes signing up for menu items a breeze (sign up genius is an easy one!). Take advantage of web-based platforms that let family members view the same files like Google Drive, which allows multiple people to access and edit spreadsheets, word processing files and more. That way, Instead of having friends and family collaborate on the holiday prep through a long email chain, they can all collaborate on a shared document. From there, you can create a master list of menu items and holiday party supplies that people will be bringing to the party.
Capitalize on comfort foods
We all love an exotic dish from time to time, but don’t get too caught up in attempting elaborate and unfamiliar dishes this time of year! When you are signed up to bring a dish to share at the next big holiday gathering, give yourself the gift of sticking with the comfort foods that you’ve made many times. You’ll enjoy the familiarity of a well known recipe, and most importantly, you won’t be adding stress to your holiday season by trying something risky to serve to your party mates. Remember, your family and friends aren't expecting perfection – they want something comforting and tasty. So make something you know will be a crowd-pleaser that takes advantage of the seasonal flavors.
Figure out what you can freeze
So many of us have idyllic visions of happy holiday hours spent preparing all the yummy foods! But let’s face it, sometimes we really just want to settle down for that long winter’s nap we keep hearing about! Don't forget the role your freezer can play in your holiday prep. Make cranberry sauce, soup, and even dessert ahead of time. Just pop the dish into the freezer and thaw it the day of the party. Then, after some time in the oven, it will be ready to eat.
Break out the punch bowl
When it comes to your holiday party menu planning, don’t underestimate what delightful holiday drinks you can offer in a punch bowl. Instead of pouring drink after drink of craft cocktails, make drinks punch-style. Double or triple the recipe of your favorite holiday-inspired drink to match the number of people your guest list, and boom, your friends can help themselves. Try mixing a sparkling spiked cider or a vodka cranberry spritzer for a festive and refreshing holiday drink. For a thoughtful addition to your bar, design custom holiday coasters that prompt your guests to jot down a few notes of gratitude. Such a small detail can have a big impact on the atmosphere of your party!
Be “leftovers ready”
The massive amount of food that is prepared for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other popular celebrations often results in lots of (our favorite!) leftovers. Forget the aluminum foil or plastic ziploc bags this season and be “leftovers ready” with festive, holiday inspired food boxes, or design customizable party bags with seasonal motifs. You’ll be so glad you ordered custom designed holiday party supplies for this very reason! The next day, your guests will love cracking open their custom designed box or bag with your tasty offering inside!
As you plan your holiday events, embrace the ways that you can practice some of these holiday party tips! It’s just too easy to risk losing your holiday spirit over the details of it all, and nobody wants to be the one feeling all “bah humbug” about things this year! Embrace the ways you can adjust your holiday party planning to give you plenty of time to turn on your favorite holiday music playlist, pour some boozy hot chocolate and watch the snow fall out the window. Now that’s the kind of holiday party planning we can get behind!