Life and Religion
|Expert Tips for stress-free party planning|
|Stick to budget, plan smart and have fun, for goodness sake|
|Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:05 am|
It’s that time of year again when we all seek to have a Holly Jolly Christmas, but planning a holiday dinner or soiree to celebrate with friends and family can be a lot of work. Here are some tips that will help keep you from stressing out as you plan your holiday gathering.
Plan like the pros.
First, determine how much you want to spend to host your party, and set a budget. This will give you a guideline and keep you from overspending. It will also help keep you organized.
Theme your party
A themed party generates ideas for your décor, food, beverage and entertainment. Try to think of something different that your guests will enjoy. Engage all five senses. Create a holiday atmosphere with color, lighting and music. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your décor until you find what works.
I once did a holiday party where we tied the buffet table with oversized ribbon to look like a Christmas present. We placed the serving dishes within the squares and the table became the central focus. It was a big hit with guests.
If you are not big on decorating, try purchasing poinsettias and place them around the room and use as centerpieces on buffet tables. It is the simplest way to give a room a festive holiday look without breaking the bank on décor.
Remember, it’s not all about you.
When planning your menu, consider your guests. Find out if they have any food allergies or if they are vegetarians. You want everyone to be able to enjoy the party and feel comfortable.
Send out invitations early.
You can find fun holiday invitations that you can create and design yourself by visiting local stationary shops. Or save money with online invitations. Browse websites like paper Post or Smilebox to find invitations that fit your style and personality. The look and feel of your invitation is important because it will leave an impression on your guests of the type of experience they will have when celebrating with you.
Plan something fun.
If nothing else, you can always play the “white elephant” game. Just ask guests to bring a wrapped gift that cost below a certain dollar amount. Each person pulls a number and the game begins. The first person picks a package and opens their gift. The second does the same. If they don’t like what they have, they can switch with the first person and so on.
Give your guests a gift.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. It can be something as simple as a poem you have written on a cute Christmas ornament. Just remember to give them something they will remember you by.
Don’t sweat it.
Most of all, remember to relax and have fun.
Karen Lawrence is founder and president of It’s My Affair LLC, a special events and meeting management company based in Charlotte. On the net: www.ItsMyAffiar.com
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