Christmas and New Year’s a time for gathering friends and family, sharing a drink, some food and a whole lot of laughs, but if it’s your turn to host any of these events, how can you prepare to make it an enjoyable evening for you as well as your guests?
Hosting can be stressful, so here’s our top tips to ensure you’re organised and have a pleasant time without pulling out your hair.
Make a List
Organise the things you need to buy and the essential tasks you need to complete to host the party. From drinks and nibbles to the turkey and trimmings, buying these early will give you more time to prepare on the day.
Put your tasks list in priority order so the most important tasks are done and the little extras at the bottom are a bonus to make your party even more enjoyable. The essentials would be cooking the turkey and trimmings, the extras would be having the table decorated in extraordinary fashion or making unique cocktails.
Don’t feel pressured into making everything from scratch – a shop bought Christmas cake or dessert isn’t the end of the world.
For a New Year’s Eve party, a list will work just as well, but there may be fewer tasks to do on the evening.
Time to Prepare
Give yourself plenty of time by preparing things as early as possible. By being super organised, you have time to adjust to any late changes like extra guests arriving, or people being delayed.
Things you can get done in advance – Christmas decorating (the tree and party room can be decorated weeks in advance), the grocery shopping can be done a couple of days before and chopping the vegetables and baking can all be done the night before.
Consider your conservatory as a potential party room because of the natural light it floods in, the space away from the rest of the house gathers people in one area (less cleaning afterwards too) and how you can open a window if it gets a bit warm. Lots of bodies in one area can cause a lot of heat!
These may sound like simple things, but they will make your big day a whole lot less stressful. Top of your shopping list should be beer and wine!
Get The Family Involved
You may be the host, but that doesn’t mean you can’t count on your partner or even children (if they’re old enough) to help you with the organisation.
Tidying rooms, doing the washing up or even decorating the table are tasks you can delegate whilst you get the essentials done.
It’s not cheeky to ask guests to bring something to help cater for the evening. It’s an expensive time of year, so sharing the cost can help make the day run smoothly. Bringing desserts, drinks or even side dishes can be really helpful.
Set up a Drinks Bar & Buffet Area
Having designated areas for serving food and drinks makes life a lot easier and your guests will feel more comfortable helping themselves to food and drinks. Don’t think you have to serve your guests all night, after all, you want to enjoy this time of year as much as them.
Lighting and Ambience
This is a subtle way to make the atmosphere that much more pleasurable is scented candles around the house and the use of lamp light. It will create a calm and relaxing room, so people can enjoy the company, food and drinks.
If you’re hosting a New Year’s party, upbeat music will help keep everyone going to midnight and maintain the high spirits.