How to Plan the Perfect Holiday Party: 5 Party-Planning Tips

Throw the perfect holiday party this year! 

One of the best parts about the holidays is all of the holiday parties. Three years ago, my roommates Marie and Bridgit and I hosted our first annual Secret Santa “Friendsmas” party. Rather than shopping for everyone, we figured a secret Santa would be fun and easy and the perfect excuse to get all of our girlfriends together for the holidays.

When Marie and I moved into a new apartment last year, we decided to keep the tradition going and are hosting our closest pals for the third time this year.

It’s one of my most favorite traditions of the year, and as it’s grown, we’ve definitely learned a few things along the way. So this year, I’m sharing my best tips for hosting the perfect holiday party!

1. Pick the perfect invites.

The perfect party starts with the perfect invitations. Check out one of my favorite sites, Basic Invite, for elegant christmas party invitations. Basic Invite offers custom invitations that are actually custom. Once you select a design, you can customize the color of each element on the card to personalize every last detail. They’ve got nearly unlimited colors and also have (my favorite!) foil holiday cards in gold, silver and rose gold. Major swoon. You can even order a printed sample of your invite to see exactly what you’re getting before placing the official order. Top it off with over 40 colors of envelopes. I always love a classic red envelope—it’ll stand out in the mail and get everyone excited before they even open it.

Once you’re all set, Basic Invite makes it super easy to collect everyone’s addresses. Just share a request link on social media and they’ll save the addresses to your account—and print them all at no extra cost on all Christmas card orders. (They also make great holiday company party invitations!)

Side note, if you’re thinking about sending out holiday photo cards this year too (Marie and I have always talked about doing Christmas cards to send to our friends and family with my dog, Lyla—maybe this year’s the year!), Basic Invite has over 250 Christmas card and holiday card designs. Score 30% off with coupon code “holi30”!

2. Create a signature cocktail.

No party is complete without a signature cocktail. Last year, I threw something together with two bottles of champagne, a decent pour of cranberry juice, fresh limes and frozen cranberries. I picked up this pretty rose gold punch bowl and it looked as good as it tasted. Super easy and festive. Don’t forget about other seasonal ingredients like rosemary or pears to dress up your drinks.

Meanwhile, our friend Liz brewed up a batch of hot spiked cider with cinnamon sticks and it was the perfect nightcap. Just throw some cider, cinnamon sticks, apple slices and any other spices you want in a Crock-Pot, and serve with a little bourbon or rum.

3. Make a Pinterest-worthy cheese board.

You can’t go wrong with a good cheese board. Last year, I topped mine with three different types of cheese and broke it up with some almonds, grapes and dried cranberries I had on hand. The Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah from Trader Joe’s is my all-time fave, and it’s super cheap and everyone loves it. Check out my friend Julie Chernoff’s tips for building the perfect cheese platter to step up your game.

4. Get games!

Every year, we always end up playing Cards Against Humanity toward the end of the night. Everyone’s a few glasses of wine deep and we just die laughing. This year, I’m thinking of picking up another card game that everyone’s talking about to add into the mix. It’s the perfect wrap-up to a fun and festive night.

5. Find a festive party favor.

It’s always nice to send your guests home with a little something sweet. For an easy and inexpensive favor, tie a ribbon around a packet of hot chocolate, a chocolate square and a mini candy cane (I’ve also seen this done with Mason jars—just layer the hot chocolate powder with crushed peppermint, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and tie it off with a ribbon). Other cute ideas: a decorated bottle of hand “santa-tizer” or a little ornament.

 

Happy holidays! Comment your favorite holiday party traditions down below!

 

This post was created in partnership with Basic Invite. Don’t forget to use the coupon code “holi30” for 30% off your order!

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