‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings! We’re so excited to Move Forward, Together this year… and that definitely means hosting our friends and family for a holiday meal. Whether you’re celebrating a specific holiday, or just the fact that you can be together, don’t let planning the party overwhelm the joy of having it. We know how to host a holiday dinner with ease… Just follow these tips!
Host a Holiday Dinner with Ease
Select Your Location
First things first, where will you host your holiday dinner? Are you in a warmer climate with room outdoors? Are you limited to a small space? (Don’t worry, we have great hacks for hosting in small spaces.) Do you live in a community with a social lounge? At most Fairfield communities, you can rent the clubroom for an event for a small fee, and it’s a great way to increase your hosting space. Once you know where you’ll host your holiday dinner, you can start planning your decorations, food, and activities and invite your guests!
Check Your Inventory
Before buying anything, take a inventory of what you already have. You can still go all out without buying everything brand new — that includes everything from serving dishes and cutlery to table settings and decorations.
Pro tip: You don’t have to use items as they are originally intended! For example, a scarf can make a beautiful table runner.
Plan The Meal and Drink Options
Get a game plan together for what you’ll serve and how you’ll serve it. Will you need a separate buffet bar or does the table have enough room for all your dishes? Gather your recipes, build your shopping list, and set aside time in the days before your event to grocery shop so you’ll be all set when it’s time to cook.
Create a plan for cooking and use the night before your party to prepare anything that can be made in advance. It will be tough to enjoy your holiday dinner party if you’re too stressed about the food being ready!
Pro tip: Always over estimate when planning the food and drink. It’s better to send your guests home with leftovers than to run out of food!
Decorate Your Space
The star decoration of a holiday dinner is the table setting, which also makes it a great place to begin your decorating efforts. A great table-scape combines textures, colors and dimensions to grab attention. If you can, set your table a couple of days before you host a holiday dinner. It can help keep up the anticipation of your upcoming event and inspire you to keep going if any problems arise.
Pro tip: Be mindful of the music you play! Music adds another texture to your decorations and completes the ambiance.
Consider An Activity
Eating dinner as a group is an activity in itself, but sometimes it’s fun to take things up a notch. A secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange can add an extra element of fun and interaction for your guests without asking too much.
Pro tip: Remember to include this information in your invitation.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy!
If there’s one key takeaway for how to host a holiday dinner with ease: If something can be done in advance, do it in advance. The biggest issue with hosting a party is running out of time to get everything done the way you envisioned.