GoRhino's Holiday Party Planner

Having guests over for a holiday dinner party doesn’t have to be a nightmare to plan. Whether it’s a small gathering of close family or a wild party for friends and colleagues, as long as your guests can have a good time, your party is a success. Here are some tips on how to plan an amazing party that everyone will enjoy and remember and won’t land you in the nut house by the time it’s done.

Cook what you can

Some people are naturals in the kitchen and can whip up an eight course extravaganza without even breaking a sweat. If that isn’t you, Christmas day isn’t the best time to experiment. Prepare one or two of your signature dishes and buy the rest from the grocery store. Buy food brands that you trust and present them in home dinnerware. As long as you and your guests find it appetizing, the entire meal doesn’t have to be home cooked.

Decorate down

Instead of dusting off every old ornament that has been passed down to you from generations ago and sticking them all over the show, keep your décor neat and simple. You don’t have to go all crazy and decorate everything and the kitchen sink (literally) in tinsel when you can rather spend more time neatening up and making sure there’s enough room for people to move around and be seated. Focus your decorating on the tree, hang only the best looking ornaments around the house and light some candles for atmosphere. The last thing your guest wants is to run into a plastic Rudolf in the bathroom.

Cater for kids

Even though you’d like to have a mature, adults-only dinner, consider that the holidays are a time for family and some guests may want to spend that time with their kids as well. Make sure there is food and non-alcoholic drinks appropriate for kids. If you have little kids that get easily bored, consider getting a sitter or an older cousin of theirs to occupy them while the adults chill out after dinner. Get them involved in activities of their own, like opening gifts or a planning talent show to entertain you all after dessert.

Expect extras

Don’t be caught off guard with unexpected guests. It’s always better to slightly over prepare and pack doggie bags for your guests to take home than to under cater and find yourself embarrassingly scraping pots at the table. Have extra snacks, drinks and food for any family or friends that may randomly drop by to greet you on the day.

Trust the TV

Don’t stress over what music to play at your party and don’t waste time hanging around the CD player to make sure you always have something festive on. Most TV channels will be showing holiday related programmes or music specials. Leave one of the music channels on and forget about it. The regular programming will be entertaining enough and create a good enough ambiance and some background noise to keep the vibe going.

Less means LESS

You don’t need to invite every person who sends you a holiday greeting card to your party. Invite as many people as you can comfortably accommodate in your home and at your table. You might be too busy to give each guest personal attention but the fewer people you invite the more chance they will have of socializing with each other and you at the same time. Ideally every guest should have a place to be seated at the same time. Even if you arrange indoor and outdoor seating

Take it in

Once the planning and preparation is done and the guests have started arriving, it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself. The point of getting together with family and friends is to enjoy each others company and have a good time. Instead of running around cleaning up spills all night, make sure anything you don’t want accidentally ruined is put away before hand. If you’ve forgotten something or things don’t go exactly to plan, just take it as it comes, and don’t stress. By the time the night is over, the memories you make together will outlast the taste of the food.
We hope you have a wonderful time and make the most of the festive season with your loved ones. It only comes around once a year so enjoy!

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