The holiday party season is upon us. The calendar is filling quickly with parties and gatherings. I enjoy attending parties, but I also enjoy hosting them. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a fussy person, but I do like things to be aesthetically pleasing most of all I want my guests to feel relaxed and welcome.
My main goal is to make my table and home a welcoming place for guests to linger as well as enjoy great food. This can be accomplished whether you are having a formal sit-down gathering or a help yourself buffet-style party. Your table really does set the tone for the entire event. Your guests will know instantly if it is somewhere they want to spend time and have fun.
Getting that magical feeling is much simpler than you might think. Start with one key element. A beautiful vase, an antique table linen, elegant china, you get the idea. Start with it and go for it. Let your creative self go. Cut a bundle of evergreens and place them in a vase. Scatter ornaments along the table. To give an extra special touch personalize ornaments with guests’ names so they can have a memento of the night.
You can also grab a package of favor boxes at the Party Place, fill them with homemade treats and tie with a pretty ribbon to send home with your guests. They also some fabulous to-go containers to send your guests home with leftovers.
Setting the table and cooking the scrumptious food is really only half of the “magical table” equation. The next part is where the magic is. You can spend thousands of dollars on the most fantastic tablescape you’ve ever seen and the party can still be a bust if you don’t get everyone talking and laughing. Successful and memorable parties are always full of laughter and fun. No one is left out of the conversation or feels excluded. This can be a bit tricky if you have generation gaps in the guests. You can accomplish this a few different ways. As soon as guests arrive, have appetizers ready for them and offer them a drink. Try doing the mini appetizer theme. Party Place has all the mini appetizer tools you need from the mini forks to the mini plates. You can also grab an icebreaker game while you are there. Choose from various card games to creating your own to help guests start their conversations. Choose something that is sort of quirky and unusual. Here is a fun game you can create yourself:
On a place card, write a different phrase or simple statement on each one. Place one below each guest’s plate. It needs to be an unusual statement. Such as, “I was abducted a week back…” When your guests arrive at the table, ask them to read the note that is placed below their plate. They must keep it a secret and it should not read it aloud. It’s best if they memorize it. The game is actually ongoing throughout the regular conversation. They just need to slip the phrase somewhere in a normal conversation. If someone states their phrase and another guest realizes it, the person who realized must point out and tell the phrase.
You as the hostess also need to enjoy yourself and have a good time, because it’s sort of like the phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Even if you do not say anything, your guests will know that you’re not happy and it will set the mood for the entire party. Just relax and if everything doesn’t go as planned, so what? I can tell you for sure without a doubt I have NEVER hosted a party or event that everything went as planned. The key is to roll with it, whatever has or has not happened is what it is, and you can’t change it. The key is to have a sort of plan B, nothing too crazy. For example, let’s say a planned appetizer didn’t go well. You know, like it burned up in the oven or just tastes really bad. A normal plan B for me in that case is to always, always have a brick of cream cheese, a jar of salsa, and tortilla chips on hand for emergencies. You simply need to place the brick of cream cheese on a serving plate (like the one below from Party Place), pour the salsa on top, place the chips around and voila you have an appetizer.
Remember, it’s not about the cost of the party; it’s about getting creative and creating a magical night.
Don’t forget Party Place has many holiday-themed napkins, plates and more to make your party extra special! Happy Holidays!