Having a party this time of year can, of course, be very exciting. But on the other hand, hosting a holiday party this time of year can be stressful and overwhelming if you’re not prepared. The good news is that just a few tips and tricks can radically diminish the stress and make hosting a whole lot easier!
Here are a few tips on how to organize a stress-free holiday party and make hosting simple and fun.
1. Keep Appetizers and Drinks Simple
When it comes to appetizers and drinks, it is best to keep it simple. In truth, the simple things in life are generally the best. This also holds true with food and beverages. Some great ideas for appetizers include crostini or bruschetta with a wide variety of toppings like different gourmet cheeses, vegetables, and meats. An old-time favorite for making bruschetta is to use a touch of olive oil, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic.
Other great party appetizers perfect for the holiday season include mini pastries filled with cranberry and brie, garlic baked brie and crackers, spinach dip and pita slices, cocktail meatballs, potato leek soup, baked coconut shrimp, toasted ravioli, gouda and beer fondue served with fresh bread, roasted olives, hummus and pita slices, herb focaccia, pesto pizza to name a few!
Looking for the perfect drinks for your party? For mocktails and cocktails check out Monin Syrup. Their amazing syrups come in numerous flavors to suit all your beverage needs with a wide selection of holiday syrups to choose from:
- Vanilla Spice
- Spiced Pumpkin
- Sea Salt, Caramel and Toffee
Monin also offers smoothie mixes, sweeteners, gifts and accessories, organic syrups, sugar-free syrups, purees, cocktail mixes, and other amazing products. Some of their cocktail mixes that would make the holidays sweeter are agave organic nectar, blackberry sangria mix, blue Curacao syrup, margarita mix, mojito mix, red sangria mix, sugar-free triple sec and white sangria mix.
2. Consider a Buffet
Sometimes it’s just easier to have a buffet. Not only is a buffet elegant, but it’s simple to prepare. Select a theme and a few hot and cold foods. For example, a Mexican theme where you serve warm beans from a crockpot, heated tortillas, fresh salsa, guacamole, and all the trimmings would be perfect! Other themes include a soup and bread/cracker buffet, a sandwich buffet, or a salad buffet. Of course a deli buffet with cold cuts, fruit, cheese, and crusty bread is aways a classic crowd pleaser!
3. Prepare Ahead of Time
In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed, it is best to start preparing dishes a day or two ahead. Preparing beforehand will save you a lot of time and frustration, especially if you have any complicated dishes. Preparing food early is a great way to prevent stress and pre-party burnout.
Foods that can be prepared ahead of time include beans, soups, bread, pies, cookies, and deli plates. Don’t be afraid to purchase certain foods instead of slaving in the kitchen for hours. Foods that require a lot of time to prepare from scratch are pies, danish, croissants, and fresh bread.
4. Simplify and Make a List
Being a super mom is not an easy role. It is easy to overextend yourself during the holidays. After a long day of work, you really need to take a break. Sit down, relax, and put your feet up. Better yet, make a special relaxing cocktail or Monin Syrup flavored mocktail to suit your tastes. Take a few extra minutes to breathe and enjoy your favorite flavored drink. If you absolutely have to do something while you sip on your mom-juice of choice, you can multitask by making a “to-do” list for your party! Why not get ahead of the game and be totally prepared with a list of all the supplies that you need. If you’re not sure what flavor you prefer, try a calming and soothing drink like a ginger puree or lavender syrup to help you unwind.
5. The Ideal Centerpiece
Instead of going out and buying a huge bouquet of flowers, combine the centerpiece with the dessert. For instance, a layered cheesecake or double-decker chocolate cake that’s uniquely decorated makes the ideal center of attention.
You can have a stunning display table with a few other tricks:
- Select a color scheme
- Match table linens with the décor
- Serve food at different levels like raised serving dishes or tiered plates
Set the holiday mood with a few naturally-scented candles. Nice aromas for the holiday are vanilla spice, apple, orange, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. Light the candles right before guests arrive. The low glistening light sets a nice holiday ambiance.
6. No Need to Be Perfect
Don’t forget to breathe and unwind when you are overwhelmed. And don’t be too critical of yourself! The holidays can present a lot of demands such as shopping, cooking, and preparing for a party. Like the Mayo Clinic states – stop and regroup when stress is at its peak. Learn to recognize your specific holiday triggers like financial concerns, a shortage of time, and too many projects that need to be completed. Recognize your trigger points so you can deal with them in order to prevent a meltdown. Relax into your party once your planning is done. Grab your Monin mocktail or cocktail and enjoy the labors of your hard work!