What you need for a holiday party - a complete holiday party checklist

Event Planning Tips, Free Resources, Planning Tips

Holiday Party Checklist!

Holiday parties can be tricky affairs if you’re planning one for the first time. They can take a few weeks to prepare for, and it can be easily overwhelming. But you don’t need to be a pro party planner to pull together a holiday party that’ll be the perfect send-off into the new year.

Not sure how to get started? Keep reading for your comprehensive holiday party planning checklist!

Clean:

Declutter your living room table, clean up that dried spaghetti sauce on the stove top, do your dishes, and dust your window sills! Make sure that your home is clean and inviting for your guests! Do you want your guests to trip over your dirty cleats when they walk? Or find your smelly gym socks buried between the couch cushions? Take the time to clean the house but also strategically move your furniture so that there’s plenty of room to move around. These are the most obvious tasks, but don’t forget the little things! Make sure that you also stock up on toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels.

Christmas decor and holiday party decor ideas

Guest list:

The first thing you need to do is to put together a guest list! Who do you want to be there? Who should be there? Friends, family, colleagues? If it’s a get-together among friends, don’t feel the need to invite every person you’ve met this year! It’s okay to be a little picky with your party guests! And if your partygoers are family and there might be children at the party, you need to make sure that they have games and activities to keep them occupied and that the food is age-appropriate. All your other decisions will depend on who your guests are and how many will be attending. Choose wisely!

Budget:

When you’re creating a budget for your party, make sure that it’s realistic. Would you really be okay spending 50% of a month’s pay on a single party? Write down everything you need ahead of time and stick to the list! This way, you’re still getting everything you need without aimlessly wandering the shopping aisles and getting suckered into buying things you don’t need!

And don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves to DIY. Cutting corners and reusing materials you already have can be a great cost-effective way to meet your party needs without breaking the bank!

If you need some inspiration, take a quick peak at this article to get some easy DIY holiday decor suggestions!

Christmas party or holiday party DIY decorations on a budget

Invitations:

It may be a bit over-the-top to hand draw one-of-a-kind invitations for 30 of your guests, especially if you’re low on time and money, but that doesn’t mean you should just send a haphazard mass text invite to your potential guests. They say the holiday spirit makes people more creative, so harness that energy and add some pizzazz to your invites. From simply creating a Facebook event page with a hilarious holiday pun to animated e-card invitations! And if you insist on having real, tangible invites, check out Pinterest for inspiration and get crafting!

Food:

Unless you’re throwing a fancy holiday-themed dinner party, it’s best to keep your food options simple. Stick to finger foods so that your guests can enjoy them without hindering conversation. Mix in savoury and sweet snack options to please every palate. From sophisticated apricot-ricotta canapés to supermarket pigs-in-blankets, make sure that you have enough food on the table. Make multiple plates and slowly roll them out throughout the night so late-comers will have a chance at tasting your food! Don’t forget to include the obligatory candy canes and Santa cookies!

Food platters and drink selection for a holiday party

Drinks

Nobody is telling you to leave the wine, mixers, and hard liquor off the drinks table, but try expanding your beverage menu to more than just alcoholic drinks. Have a table for people to mix their own cocktails, but also put out a punch bowl of spiced apple cider or even try delving into hot beverages. Create a beverage station with kettles so that people can make their own hot chocolate! Or, if you’re really looking to impress, a coffee bar! You’ll be remembered for years to come and also make use of that chrome espresso maker buried in the back of the pantry!

Décor

You don’t have to go out to buy giant inflatable snowmen and sleigh-pulling reindeers for the front lawn! Holiday decorating can be incredibly simple! String lights and candles will not only add a warm glow to the space but will also create an inviting ambiance to the space if you do not have a fireplace at the venue. You can also add metallic accents to add a hard contrast to all the fabric-covered furniture — it’ll reflect the candle-light sublimely. Don’t forget to decorate the food and beverage stations with some creative centre-pieces!

Music

Just because it’s a holiday party doesn’t mean that you can only play themed music! While we can’t get enough of Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey’s chart-topping holiday hits, it may be good to mix things up. Consider putting together two playlists: one with festive songs and the other with contemporary hits. Your guests will thank you once the party gets rolling and they’re tired of hearing the same music that’s been blasting in the shopping centers for the entirety of December. Just make sure they are party-appropriate songs!

Happy Holidays sign DIY for holiday party decor

Planning your own party is pretty low-stress since your guests are personal friends and family. But what if a client asks you to plan a holiday party?

Check out this post on planning a last-minute Christmas party for some professional tips!

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