Tips For Hosting Holiday Parties

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I have a New York friend named Peter who is the very best host and throws the most magical gatherings, from intimate dinners of 4 to cocktail parties with 40 guests. His parties look like they could make the cover of Better Homes and Gardens! Astonished as how he creates beautiful (and organized) events in his one-bedroom apartment, I just had to know what his tricks are. If you’re hosting a get together this holiday season, you’ll be known as the hostess with the mostess with these tips in your apron!

Make a List and Check It Twice

Peter is a big believer in making lists when hosting. From a list for dishes he’s planning to make, to a checklist of ingredients that need to be purchased, and even a list of songs to add to the party playlist, stay on top of your event-planning game. The more organized you are, the easier it is to confidently prepare your party!

If you don’t have time to get to all the shopping done yourself, Taskrabbit is a great resource for hiring local New Yorkers to get the job done for you!

Photo Credit: Fresh Direct

Save Time and Prep Ahead

Let’s be real… one of the biggest stressors in life is running around town to pick up last minute groceries for the day.

Pick some dishes that can be made or prepped the night before, leaving only one or two active dishes for you to whip up the day of. This will free you from the kitchen – allowing you to spend more time with guests.

Have your hands full with kids, pets, and other errands? Long Island City’s grocery company FreshDirect has dishes that are ready to eat, and they specialize in party sizes, too! Bonus points for having specific 2 hour delivery windows of time.

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The Perfect Ambiance

I truly believe one of the reasons Peter’s parties are so enjoyable is because of the small touches he adds to his apartment. He lights votive candles, has a well-curated playlist going, and orders seasonal flower displays from The Bouqs.

If you’re throwing a dinner party, make a little time for DIY name plates for your guests. If it’s a cocktail party, introduce friends with where they’re from, but also with similarities between the two (do they both have small dog, love of Broadway shows, or work in the same industry?) Your guests will remember these extra efforts long after the party is over.

Photo Credit: Serious Eats

Be Aware Of Food And Alcohol Restrictions

Depending on your type of party, you may want to consider your guests and what type of foods and beverages best suit the coming crowd.

For example, if you’re having a cookie decorating party, make sure you have milk! Take it a step further with soy milk, almond, and whole milk. If some of your dinner party guests are underage, have a non-alcoholic beverage on standby. We love this Non-Alcoholic Fizzy Pear Ginger Punch from our friends at Serious Eats. We’ll take two glasses!

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Hide That Clutter!

Imagine this – a clean, clutter-free apartment with space to actually move around and socialize. But where But where are you supposed to put all that random stuff on your coffee table and stairway? Here are a few quick tips to put your extra items out of sight:

Foldable under-the-bed containers for extra jackets, blankets, pillows, etc.

Store larger items in your shower behind a shower curtain

Add wicker baskets to shelving to store smaller items, and even add color to your room

The cleaning service Handy is currently running a special for New Yorkers, offering a 3 hour clean for $69. Have a happy and clean holiday, indeed!

Take Out Boxes For Guests

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas cookie decorating party, chances are you’ll have loads of leftovers. Instead of cramming everything in your fridge (because really, how many turkey sandwiches are you willing to eat?), stock up on some take out boxes for your guests. Not only will this help greatly to make sure nothing goes to waste, but your guests will love the idea of not needing to cook the next day!

What are you holiday hosting tips? Share your secrets with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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