If the holidays seem like a blur of activity, you are not alone – but it doesn’t mean you can’t host a great holiday soiree! We created a streamlined planning process developed with all five senses in mind so you can create maximum impact this holiday season with a minimal investment of time, brought to you by Evite in partnership with Glade®.
Sight: Decor and Lighting
Let guests feast their eyes on a great holiday display you can put together in record time. Limit tree trimmings to a single color for a trendy, monochromatic look that’s quick as well as foolproof, then group unused bulbs in clear glass bowls to place throughout the space. Wrapped gifts can be pulled out from under the tree and displayed on tables and shelves for a festive look that won’t cost an extra cent.
Lighting can serve as a decor element and mood-setter in one. Wired lights – a hot trend this year – can be bent around furnishings or coiled into jars, and look fantastic glowing brightly in a dimly lit room. Candlelight adds to the festive effect, particularly if you use long-lasting candles in holiday scents like the limited-edition jar candles by Glade®.
Smell: Scent Design
Speaking of holiday scents, our sense of smell has the power to evoke nostalgia as well as hunger pangs. Assign a holiday-inspired scent to each of the areas accessible to guests (such as Glade® Apple Cinnamon in the kitchen, Hot Cocoa & Mint in the dining area, etc.) and use discreet plug-in diffusers (we love Glade® PlugIns® scented oil warmers) to infuse each room. As guests work their way through the space, they’ll breathe in all the best scents of the season.
Taste: Food & Drink
Fine holiday fare is a must at a party, but you can skip unnecessary work by sticking to a single category of food, such as sweets. A dessert table composed of local favorites (an eatery’s famous cheesecake, pie from an amazing shop) is a fun option, or you can simply hit up a bakery or your favorite gourmet grocery for a full menu of affordable desserts. If finger foods are more your speed, focus on a simple spread of cold meats and cheeses paired with fresh artisan breads and accompanied by condiments, olives and salted nuts.
The key to fast-and-easy drinks is to limit cocktails to a single signature drink you can mix by the pitcher (think mint martinis or store-bought eggnog spiked with brandy), and offer a soft bar of beer and wine instead of a full one. Line several punchbowls (bought or borrowed) with ice and load them up with soft drinks, bottles of lager, and splits (or dainty cans) of wine. Guests can grab their choice of drinks without missing a beat, and you’ll only need cups for the cocktails. Be sure to include some bottled water, which can be offered at room temperature or chilled.
Include some tactile stimulation by letting guests make and take their own favors. A decorating station where they can personalize plain tree ornaments with colored markers and glitter pens gives your party people a creative outlet and a great excuse to mingle.
One of the easiest ways to put guests in the holiday spirit is to surround them with music. Roll through our festive holiday-party playlists curated by DJ Nahchey, or get a DVD that displays a crackling fire in a virtual hearth with a holiday tune soundtrack playing.
Now that you have a complete plan of action, let our Holiday Party Checklist help get you on schedule.