Ashley Ann's

Ashley Ann's

Event Planning Service

Holiday Party Tips

Whether you are throwing a holiday party or attending one...or several, don’t let anything ruin the merriment. Here are a few tips for stress-free festivities.


Host/Hostess Tips ~

* Determine the type of party you want to have such as a sit-down dinner or a cocktail party. If doing a dinner, buffets are easier so that your guests can help themselves.

* Make your guest list and send out invitations. Set the date and time and create your guest list. Make sure to decide ahead of time whether children are invited. Then get the word out.

* Decide on the food you will serve. Stock up on nibbles such as crackers, nuts, olives, etc. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time.

* Set up a Self Serve Bar. If you have the space to set it up in a separate room, that will be your best option but if not, a location away from the food would also work.

* Make a list and schedule of the things that need to be done and when. Make sure to leave at least an hour before the party for last minute emergencies  as well as time to get ready and relax before guests arrive.

* Decide on the decorations you’ll be using. Remember to think small in order to leave enough room for the food. Unexpected pieces such as a punchbowl filled with Christmas ornaments can be a nice touch.

* For a pretty and easy food presentation, use oven-to-table serving ware to keep food warm. If you don’t have those type of dishes, put labels on the serving ware you will be using so you will know what dishes will be going where once you pull them out of the oven.

* ENJOY! The key is to do as much as possible ahead of time so that you can enjoy the party and company of your guests.


Attending A Party ~

* Ask your host if you can bring anything. They most likely will decline but if they do accept, ask what they would suggest, need and what other guests have agreed to bring so as to prevent duplicates.

* Make sure to wear appropriate attire. If you are unable to get the information from the host, the standard advice is it is always safer to dress on the nicer side. Women can use accessories to dress up or down an outfit while men can wear a button down shirt with khakis or chino pants.

* Be clear on important details. Make sure that children are invited to attend before arriving at the party. Also, get directions ahead of time, especially if it is in a new location.

* Bring a gift to your host. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, just something to show your appreciation. If you’re going to several parties, buy a few traditional gifts, tie a pretty ribbon on them, and keep them in your car so you’ll be prepared.

* Be on your best behavior. Keep cool and pleasant. Be aware of your surroundings (i.e. foul language around children), keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and try to have conversations with new people.

* Be helpful. Offer to help especially if you arrive early, clean up, take out trash, etc. Also be mindful of messes you personally make. Your host will be appreciative for any help offered.


The holidays shouldn’t be a stressful time for anyone. Take time to enjoy your friends and family. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




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