Planning the Ultimate Holiday Party for your Friends
by Cassandra Morris
‘Tis the season to throw a fabulous soiree! If you want to play hostess for your friends and create the ultimate holiday party, here’s how to make it memorable.
Send a special invite. Skip the mass Facebook invite in favor of something a little more personal. Paperless Post (link: www.paperlesspost.com) has a slew of thoughtful holiday invitations that will appear right in your friends’ inboxes. They’re not only adorable to gaze at, they send the message that your gathering will be a little more formal than the usual hang sesh.
Have a Themed Menu and Décor. Picking and sticking to a theme will pull your entire party together. It can be as simple as heart confetti and cupcakes with frosted peace signs for a “Peace and Love” theme, framed photos of classic holiday movie scenes, vintage-inspired candleholders and a viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” for a “Classic Holidays” theme, or faux snow and blue, silver and white decorations for a “Let it Snow!” theme.
Set the Mood With Music. Holiday music is a must for December parties. If you don’t have a holiday playlist on your laptop, cue one up on Pandora.
Create a Hot Cocoa and Apple Cider Bar. The drinks of the holiday season are hot cocoa and warm apple cider. Set up a mini bar where your friends can concoct their own special mixes. Peppermint sticks, almonds, coconut, marshmallows in every size and flavored whipped cream should definitely make an appearance for the hot chocolate lovers. Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, maple syrup and orange peel garnishes are perfect for the hot apple cider connoisseurs.
Play Reindeer Games. Silly holiday games aren’t just for kids. Here are some of my faves: Have everyone decorate gingerbread cookies and give prizes for most creative, prettiest or messiest. Have your friends create a “Naughty and Nice” list of things they’ve done over the past year, then read them aloud. Have everyone bring a wrapped holiday gift under $10 for a holiday grab bag, then draw numbers out of a bowl. Number one unwraps a gift first, while numbers two and higher can either select a new gift to open or steal someone else’s. If your gift is stolen, you choose an unwrapped gift. You’ll be amazed at how competitive everyone gets over the most coveted gifts!
Take a Holiday Stroll. If you live in a neighborhood that has a ton of holiday lights, bundle up and go for a post-hot cocoa group stroll to admire them.
Dress the part. As hostess, your outfit should set the party mood. I love this silver foil dress by David’s Bridal. The color is festive, the ruching is flattering, and the side beading adds a touch of whimsy. Tip: Be sure to get dressed after all your party preparations have been made. You don’t want to accidentally spill chocolate on your dress or snag it on a rough edge while you’re decorating.