Holiday How To: Host a Festive Bash


So you've decided to have a holiday bash. Perhaps it's a Christmas Eve cocktail party, or a post 25th get-together to celebrate the end of the year with good friends and delicious snacks. Really, a holiday party can happen at any point in December. After choosing the date and occasion, it's time to pick a theme. You can get as elaborate and create a name for your party with decor specific to it, or just choose a general color scheme to stick to. Don't feel like you're limited to cliches like “Winter Wonderland” or design centered around the classic red and green hues of the holidays. For example, try a unique metallic themed party. Your theme will feature glitzy gold, delicate lighting and sparking sequins, making for a holiday appropriate but also unexpected affair.

Obviously, there won't be a party unless people know to come. Sending out a mass email, Facebook invite, or, god forbid, a group text, gets the job done but is a bit impersonal, not to mention tacky if you're going for a more sophisticated gathering. Take the time to send out proper invitations via that ancient method known as post. Everyone loves getting mail, especially if its an exciting and festive invitation. Choose stationary that sticks to your theme and make sure to mention two easily forgotten necessities; the attire and type of bash you'll be hosting (gift exchange, dinner party, cocktails and appetizers).

Nothing kills a party faster than running out of food or drink. Stock that bar and get your appetizer on; it's dire to buy enough to last the night. Baffled by the math? Take Rande Gerber, Founder of Caliche Rum and Gerber Bars' advice and “assume that your guests will consume 2 drinks per hour and 10 hors d’oeuvres throughout the whole night, plan and purchase accordingly, then double it. Of course, you know your friends better than anyone, so adjust the numbers if you know you’ll have some particularly hungry or thirsty guests on hand!”

Have a chic and neatly set up bar area that features bottles on display so that guests know what their options are. Have a menu with festive, signature holiday cocktails as well as non alcoholic options like punch and cider. If you don't have a bartender on hand, post decorated notes with drink recipes so that guests can mix their own beverage.

Create a fun and festive environment for you and your guests. Make space for people to be able to mingle comfortably. Set the mood with romantic lighting and a nonstop, holiday themed playlist boasting a mixture of songs that are upbeat and slow, classic and contemporary. Pay attention to your design and decor details of everything from table top settings to serving plates and utensils for a chic setup. Get creative, but don't go overboard.

Lastly, enjoy yourself! Do your necessary hostess duties, mingling with your guests, introducing friends that may not know each other, and keeping the food and drinks coming, but don't forget to have fun too!