Today on the blog I have the hostess with the mostess Pearl from Pretty Mayhem sharing with us her easy holiday party tips, just in time for Christmas! And better yet, she is giving away one of her special limited edition White and Gold holiday boxes to a lucky reader worth $65 – read on to find out how to enter.
Hi guys! Pearl here from Pretty Mayhem – the place for easy entertaining tips, quick recipes and all other pretty things.
The holiday season is officially here which means it’s time to put on a party dress, get together with friends and family, and par-tay!
If you’ve always wanted to host your own holiday party but were worried about the stress or costs involved – fear not! If there’s one thing I learned from throwing countless parties over the years is that you don’t need to slave in the kitchen or spend a fortune to host an amazing soiree.
Here are my top tips to create a low-stress and fun holiday party:
1. Pick your date wisely
Tis’ the silly season which means people’s calendars are filling up fast. Give your friends at least 2 week notice and save both money and trees by using social media or even better – by calling them in person! How retro cool of you.
A good way to avoid the weekend party madness is to host your party during the week instead – Thursday is the new Friday. Or you could host an ‘open house’ which means people can come and go as they please and ‘party hop’ throughout the evening.
2. Serve your food buffet-style
Forget about hosting a sit-down meal and instead throw a fun cocktail party! Not only will it be more cost effective but it will also allow you to spend more time with your friends rather than in the kitchen. Win!
Create a small buffet area and fill it with bite-sized appetisers that don’t require large plates or cutlery. Aim to serve about 8-10 bites per person for a 4 hour party.
Here are a few rules I go by when creating my own holiday party menu:
- I include at least 1 vegetarian and 1 vegan option (in this case – falafels and a large cheese platter)
- Half of the items can be done in advance or bought ready-made (like quiches)
- I include at least one ‘filling’ appetiser (chicken sandwiches here)
- Offer something sweet (I made Love Swah’s famous ‘champagne cupcakes’ and also offered chocolate truffles)
- Choose mostly foods that can served cold or at room temperature so I don’t have to check on the oven all night long
If cooking isn’t your forte then don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family! You could also get a few ready-made platters from your favourite take away place (such as sushi) and call it a day.
3. Have a self-serve drinks area
Mixing individual cocktails for people is a lot of fun…for about 20 mins. Then it becomes hard work so unless you aspire to be a professional mixologist, I’d suggest going for a self serve station instead.
Depending on your budget you could either: serve bubbly and wine only (which is what I did for the set up above) or an assortment of spirits. If you choose to serve spirits make sure you also include mixers (soda water, orange juice, etc) as well as fresh fruits and garnishes.
Another option would be to make a couple of large punches ahead of time – egg nog anyone?
Make sure to include fun non alcoholic drinks as well – there’s nothing more depressing as a sober driver than to go to a cocktail party and be offered tap water whilst everyone is feasting on champagne or fancy cocktails. Trust me they’ll love for serving virgin mojitos or virgin punch instead!
4. Set the holiday scene
I’m always saying this but choosing a simple colour palette will always make decorating your party easier! I’m a big fan of white and gold so this year I created a special ‘white and gold holiday party kit’ for my party shop which I used for this post. It includes everything you need to decorate a holiday party (i.e. a star garland, boutique party plates, gold paper straws, and more) which made my decorating job that much easier.
Of course you could also use whatever decorations you already have! Christmas string lights, old ornaments, pine cones…all of these things can be turned into bespoke décor items!
5. Don’t forget about music!
And by ‘music’ I don’t mean cheesy Christmas songs. Unless your guests really love Christmas songs which I’m guessing by this time of the year they don’t (who allowed shops to start blasting out Christmas song in October?! It needs to stop).
Instead, go for an upbeat cocktail party mix via an online streaming service such as Spotify or create a playlist ahead of time.
Avoid handing over the music reigns to other people as that can quickly lead to chaos – unless your best friend happens to be Mayer Hawthorne or a famous DJ – in which case: definitely let him take over.
I hope you found these tips useful! I wish you a wonderful champagne and laughter-filled Holiday season!
Win a Holiday Party in a Box
Pretty Mayhem is giving away a gorgeous white and gold party box filled with carefully curated items to throw the perfect holiday party. This box caters for 10 people and features a gold star banner, paper plates with gold foil design, deluxe champagne glasses, Christmas crackers and much more!
To enter, leave a comment with what food you would serve at your holiday party if you won this gift box. Good luck!