Holiday Season Hosting Tips: How to Throw a Grown-Up Dinner Party
As the youngest millennials start to make their way out of the nest, many of them probably struggle to do “adult” stuff for the first time. This includes making their own appointments, buying their own groceries that don’t just consist of instant noodles or toast, budgeting, and hosting events at home other than the ones that are just music, alcohol, and snacks.
Hosting your own dinner party can seem like a stressful feat with everything that needs to be considered, but giving yourself time and taking things step-by-step can help relieve the stress and make you feel like you have everything under control.
How to Host a Holiday Party
Getting started, you should consider:
The number of guests
If this is your first party as a host, you can start small with a party of four or six of your friends who know each other to keep things from getting awkward over an intimate dinner.
When to have dinner
You want to invite your guests at least two weeks before so they can mark it in their calendars. A week before the dinner, you can send a reminder.
Figure out if you want a specific holiday theme or just buy whatever you think looks good and cute to decorate your home. Jingle bells, mistletoe, wreaths, fake snow, go all out! Make it real fancy with an on-theme tablecloth and table sets.
The easiest way to get dinner is to have a pot luck! That means you only have to worry about one main dish along with the snacks, drinks, and dessert. Or make your own menu of what you want your guests to eat; it’s your party anyways!
Invite your guests.
Send out the invitations and get feedback on an agreed date.
Get everything you need.
Make a list of decorations and ingredients you need a few days before the dinner so when you begin your prep, you’ll have time to run and grab anything you forgot.
Try to clear the areas where your guests will spend most of the time – kitchen, dining room, living room, washroom.
The night before, prep all of your ingredients in pre-measured containers that you can place around your cooking station to save time. Then set up a drink station with cups, ice, a market, and the drinks somewhere it won’t get crowded. Put snack bowls in your kitchen close enough to your station, but far enough that your guests won’t get in the way.
Relax and mingle.
As dinner cooks or as you set up the table, enjoy conversation with your guests or give them small tasks to help you get everything done.
Say goodnight and clean up.
After dessert and a nightcap, you can start to load the dishwasher or the sink and start tidying as your guests help or leave for the night.
If you’re worried about getting overwhelmed, you can always ask your friends to help with the small stuff!