Hosting A Holiday Party

This is the first holiday season where my boyfriend and I are living together. One thing we knew we wanted to do was be able to have friends over more as that was something that was very difficult to do when we both lived at home. We successfully hosted our first party last weekend and here are some tips from a baby host like me to you!

1. Clean clean clean. The place doesn't have to be spotless, but spend the week ahead of the party picking up little things and organizing your overall space. You'll have a lot of people over which means there will need to be sufficient seating and tabletop space for cups and plates. 

2. Plan out your food / beverage lineup. I spent a little while on Pinterest debating what types of items I wanted to make. I ended up making bruschetta as it's refreshing, tasty, and filling! I also ended up with chicken lettuce wraps (a la P.F. Chang's style) as they're rather healthy and also tasty! Both ended up being huge hits for being first time testers so I was quite pleased with how it all turned out :). Since it's cold I also decided to make my specialty - Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden ! Soup is always a great option in the cold season and it's something that usually can be tossed into the pot and left to simmer. // Of course having chips around is great too as finger foods. Among my friends Hot Cheetos are always a favorite, so we had regular ones + the ones with limon :B

3. Make sure all your dishes are washed and ready to be used! My bf and I have 4-8 sets of our cups, dishes, and utensils. We had about 12 people over so it did prove a bit difficult. We definitely should have been more prepared and bought some plastic utensils just in case. We try to be as environmentally friendly as we can so we just opted to constantly wash dishes as they were finished so we'd never run out. Do what you think is best! >> but on a side note, wash dishes as you go while still socializing with your friends. This helps you avoid the pileup of dishes and you won't feel as crushed when the night ends, you're tired, and just want to sleep. 

4. Set up the ambiance. We had some music playing in the background and mayyybe should've put in more effort to put together a kickass playlist. We ended up having Guardians of the Galaxy 2 playing in the background tho so it was fine (thanks, Netflix!). I also had some candles burning bc pyro + it helped our apartment smell a little better. As I mentioned before, I burned my Hearth & Hand candle that I included in my Winter Candle Lineup here. It smells so festive and I absolutely love it. I also recommend getting some greenery to spruce up your place. I bought a bunch of eucalyptus back in September and they've dried out now but I still have them around. I'm probably gonna toss them soon and pick up some new greenery this weekend at the farmers' market! Have fun and make a little holiday bouquet - over time your arrangements will get better because practice makes perfect.

5. Plan a game or two! Around the holidays it's fun to do either Secret Santa or White Elephant. With people inviting friends last minute (for those out-of-towners that happen to be back in town) or the significant other that your friend would like to bring, White Elephant is my game of choice. That means anyone that wants to come last minute won't be excluded during the gift giving! 

6. Remember to have fun! Don't get worked up about the event and just have fun and go with the flow. Little things will always come up, but don't let that be what you remember your party by. And remember to take some snaps because it's fun to look at them every year to see how everyone has changed over time. And if you get a Polaroid printer, you'll be able to print it to add to your own collection.

What are some of your best tips for hosting a holiday party?