Avoid These Common Mistakes When Hosting a Holiday Party

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Hosting a Holiday Party
Avoid These Common Mistakes When Hosting a Holiday Party | image source: Cavan Images / Getty

Even if the Christmas season is already joyful, giving the celebrations a little additional time and attention will make them even more memorable for your family and friends. If you’re organizing a Christmas gathering, you should first read this list of frequent hosting blunders. Experts in entertaining and events have listed eleven frequent blunders to avoid below, along with what to do instead to make sure your holiday party is a smashing success.

Leaving your driveway a slippery mess

If your party is scheduled for a night with ice or snow, salt outdoor walkways so that guests can enter and exit without worrying about falling. According to Danielle Rothweiler, president of Rothweiler Event Design in New Jersey, make sure these pathways are also well-lit.

Cranking up the heat

Don’t overcompensate by turning up your thermostat despite the gloomy weather outside. Just before visitors come, turn it down a notch to prevent a sauna-like atmosphere. According to Rothweiler, your home will become hotter as you invite more people inside. She suggests that you lower the heat and leave the windows open during the party so that fresh air can circulate throughout the house. For warmth and holiday cheer, light your fireplace if you have one.

Not having a set shoe plan

On or off the shoes? When visiting someone’s home, that is typically the first inquiry posed. Clearly state it. If guests’ shoes can be left on, provide a mat so they may wipe their feet, says Rothweiler. Provide a rack or a sizable mat to contain everyone’s shoes when it’s time to take them off. Giving guests fuzzy socks is a lovely gesture if they become cold while unshod.

Playing the same tunes on loop

Once the holiday season is in full swing, you have been hearing the jingle of sleigh bells for weeks. On websites like Spotify, 8tracks, and Pandora, you can find a ton of alternative party playlists, some of which have entertaining, contemporary interpretations of seasonal favorites. If you prefer to choose your songs in advance, plan 68 songs for a four-hour party.

Skipping hot drinks

Baby, it’s so cold outside you can see your breath, so think about serving mulled wine or cider hot toddies (and tea and hot chocolate for the teetotalers). According to Rothweiler, a spiked cider is always entertaining over the holidays and makes a wonderful welcome for guests who have come inside from the cold. One-and-a-half drinks per person, per hour, is the general guideline.

Letting spills sit

Red wine, gravy, and other common holiday stains must at the very least be cleaned up and blotted with a clean, damp cloth before you return to the party to avoid lasting damage. For advice on what cleanup procedures you should undertake immediately and what can wait until the following day, refer to our party stain removal guide.

Running out of hors d’oeuvres

Plan on serving eight to ten hors d’oeuvres per attendee at a regular celebration. Per visitor, allow for two paper plates if you’re using disposable utensils.

Leaving food out for too long

According to Sharon Franke, Director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, don’t leave perishable food outside of the refrigerator for more than two hours. Use smaller bowls and don’t overfill them; instead of serving everything you’ve prepared at once, bring out new dishes as needed to replenish.

Not entertaining the kids

They are too frequently overlooked by adults who haven’t seen one other in a while. The founder and president of the event planning business JPO Concepts, Helah Kehati, advises setting up a corner with games, movies, or arts and crafts. Just make sure to cover tables and floors to avoid “permanent artwork, she adds.

Not having a pet plan

You don’t want your animal companions to panic out or cause trouble. According to Kehati, some pets easily become overwhelmed by having too many humans in their home and exhibit unusual behavior. Additionally, some visitors might be allergic. Consider hiring a pet sitter for the night rather than isolating your dog or cat (and possibly frightening them). Also, be sure to vacuum thoroughly.

Not deciding what to do with trash

Make disposal simpler on yourself from the start by taking into account the potential mess your party may create. Kehati advises allocating at least one large trash bag for every ten individuals. Fill trash cans with multiple bags so you can remove and replace them at the same time.

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