Design, Lifestyle

How to Host an Easy Holiday Party

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.

Holiday-themed Party Table

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.

cupcakes falafel

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!

X Pearl

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!



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  • Reply Lucy @ Bake Play Smile December 2, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    These are such great tips!!!! Love the party decorations too!

  • Reply Hollie Doar December 3, 2016 at 9:39 am

    This is lovely! I’d serve it with some Xmas ham and my finances grandma’s trifle!

  • Reply Ruby & Cake December 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Brilliant tips. I love Christmas get togethers :D Id serve chorizo croquettes i think. And mini meringues topped with chocolate chestnut cream and cherries.

  • Reply Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella December 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    What a cute set-I used a similar colour scheme for New Years Eve one year so its very versatile!

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid December 5, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Such awesome tips! Pearl sure knows how to throw a party and that box is full of pretty! I would definitely serve an antipasto plate because there’s something for everyone, there’s no cooking involved and it can easily be refilled. Of course, it’s really just an excuse to make (and eat) more of my homemade basil and kale pesto. It’s my new obsession!

  • Reply Nuffnang Australia | Asia Pacific’s First Blog Advertising Community » ‘Tis the season! December 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    […] Fear not, Love Swah and Pearl from Pretty Mayhem are here to save the day with their tips on How To Host An Easy Holiday Party. […]

  • Reply Kristen December 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I absolutely love hosting small gatherings for my friends, it barely needs to be an occasion!
    I love to put out antipasto (lots of pickled things!) , a fruit platter, sandwiches (including mums famous curried egg) and a big bowl of individually wrapped choccies. We sit outside on picnic blankets and listen to a lot of 80’s/90’s one-hit wonders!

  • Reply Tay December 19, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Wow these are great ideas and love all the little details. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Swah December 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Tay!

  • Reply Amna Saeed February 17, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I would serve our traditional Dahi Bhalay , one bite sandwiches, orange juice and fizzy drinks ,samosas, crakers etc 😋

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