Holiday parties can be quite the paradoxical experience. You wait all year to see family and friends gather from near and far. Then, when the time comes, you're so busy running around orchestrating the party that you forget to connect with your guests. If this conundrum sounds familiar - you're not alone. These are 10 of our tried and true entertaining tips that will not only help you throw a fantastic holiday party, but will also help you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.
1. Create a music playlist in advance that will help set the tone of the party.
2. Set your serving platters, utensils and place settings out the night before to avoid a last-minute rush on the day of. See some of our favorite holiday décor for inspiration...
3. If you're having a larger party, avoid a sit-down format. Try a buffet-style dinner so you're not responsible for plating the food yourself. To have your guests mix and mingle, place food stations in various locations.
4. Delegate tasks to friends and family. Need help baking the dessert or simply lighting the candles? Ask for help! Others will be happy to help take things off your proverbial plate.
5. Beautiful lighting is essential at a holiday party. Try candles of various heights combined with a dimly lit chandelier and a roaring fireplace.
6. Evoke a sense of nostalgia. Whether it's setting out a certain Christmas decoration or whipping up grandma's infamous cookies, nostalgia is a holiday must-have.
7. Make your party a sensory experience with warming holiday aromas such as a bowl of cinnamon sticks near the drink station, or a citrus centerpiece on the dinner table. Spiced orange pomander balls can be a fun activity for kids to partake in pre-party!
8. If you're having a seated dinner, make a seating arrangement so strangers can be introduced to each other and find common interests.
9. Set out cards, charades and other games for everyone to play post-dinner.
10. The most important thing is to give yourself ample time. When you're not feeling rushed, you'll be able to enjoy every moment before and during the party!