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Hosting the perfect holiday party in your home

When you host a party, you want everything to be perfect, while it looks like it was effortless to your guests - even if you are going crazy and about to have a panic attack on the inside! Here are tips to make sure your party goes off without a hitch.

What type of party?
Is it going to be an appy and cocktails party? A sit down multiple course meal? A wine tasting party? Once you set on a type of party, the details will fall into place much quicker.

Party theme?
Themed parties can be a lot of fun for guests, but they can be a lot of work, not to mention pricey, for the party hosts. If you are on a budget but love the idea of a fun theme, check out the ideas we have for themed parties on a budget to get ideas or just get inspiration for your own theme.

How much space?
How much space do you have in your home? This will have a direct impact on how many guests you can invite. Worried you don't have enough room? Here are some tips to maximize your party space for guests.

Feuding guests?
Double check your guest list to make sure that there aren't any guests who aren't speaking to other guests. Nothing can make a party more uncomfortable than when guests obviously aren't speaking to each other while shooting daggers with their eyes... and sometimes screaming matches can start right in the middle of your dinner party. So make sure that all your guests get along.

If you are doing a potluck, make sure you give people guidance as to what to bring. You don't want everyone to bring french bread with various dips, leaving everyone starved at the end of the evening. So tell some guests salads, others main dishes, and others deserts. This will help keep variety in the dishes. Some more potluck party tips.

How much food?
Make sure you plan for more food than you anticipate you'll need. So if there will be twelve guests (including yourself) in total, plan the food as if you were serving fourteen. It is far better to have leftovers you can freeze than run out of the entree or desert.

Serving alcohol?
Are you serving alcohol? Is it BYOB? Make sure you decide in advance and let your guests know... you don't want it to be a Bring Your Own Bottle affair but no one knows they are supposed to do the bringing. If you are on a budget, here are some ways to cut the costs of your party alcohol budget while keeping everyone happy. And don't forget what mixers and garnishes you need.

Plan ahead
Do as much ahead of time as possible. What can you make the day before or morning of? Make sure you chop the veggies ahead of time, measure out seasonings and other ingredients, and do as much pre-planning and pre-working as possible. Your guests will have more fun and be more at ease when they aren't seeing you run through the house like a crazy woman as you check on the oven and are trying to make the salad.



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