10 Holiday Party Hosting Tips

‘Tis the season to gather family and friends around for the holidays. Maybe you just moved in and you want to show off your snazzy apartment, or maybe you just have a great space to host. Regardless, hosting holiday festivities can be exciting and exhausting. Here are 10 tips to get your party rockin’!

10. Select your theme

Once you’ve decided to throw a party, start imagining the theme. A casual office friends get together? A major bash to bring in the new year like it’s 1999? From there, pick a few colors that embody that look, think of the texture (is it silky, fringe, lace, snowy?), and determine your budget.

9. Know your audience

Now that you have a look, begin tailoring that look to your guests. Are you planning on having a classy dinner or a boozy celebration? Reflecting on your guest list can help determine what direction you should gear your party towards.

8. Get a final head count a week out

With a week left, get a final head count. With this, you can begin your shopping.

7. Figure out the food

With your guest list solidified, set the menu. Whether you’re cooking yourself or ordering in, always plan for a little more than your final number. Additionally, if your guests are bringing food, create a sign up list for different items. I like to use Sign Up Genius or Google Docs for this.

6. Games, Games, Games 

It’s never good to be bored at a party. So, if there is a lull in the party, have some games ready to grab everyone’s attention. Cards Against Humanity, Jenga or Catchphrase are always fun go-to’s.

5. Create a Space

Where do you want everyone hanging out? How do you want the party to flow? Create a welcoming environment in the areas where you want people spending their time in your apartment. Focus your decoration in the “high-traffic” areas, and make sure to close doors and turn lights off in rooms that you don’t want people in.

4. “Prep for Wreck”

No matter how lovely your friends are, you will probably end up with a mess. Take some time before the party to help minimize the wreckage. Make sure there are multiple locations for trash and recycling, and label them so people can recycle! Additionally, if it fits your look, disposable dishes are magical when it comes to clean up. If you are worried about the environmental impact, check out the many eco-friendly solutions now available.

3. Create Your Playlist

Make sure your speakers are working and prep your playlist. Choose songs that suit your environment and the theme of your party.

2. Find Your Signature

Spice things up by offering a “signature”. This can be a drink, dish, or perhaps an activity. One holiday favorite is adult hot chocolate that can be made easily in a crock-pot.

1. Make It Memorable

Your party will be memorable, so make sure there are ways people can remember. Make a “photo booth” area so people can snap pictures and remember the fun.


Photo Credits: Happy Wedd, Cookbooks & Cakestands, Brit+Co

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Author My First Apartment

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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