So whether you are the party girl who has sent out bespoke invitations a month in advance (as per Emily Post) and planned the event down to the last canapé; or the type who is just now getting the notion of rounding up a few friends and neighbours for an little impromptu holiday gathering; here are a few tips to throwing a house party.
- Be Selective in Your Guest List
Who you choose to invite is the most critical factor to a successful party. Think of each individual guest, but also consider the group as a whole. Of course you want to have people who like to have fun and are entertaining guests, but throw a couple of wild cards into the mix to ensure that the party is lively (surely you know a bombshell or a provocateur?) As hostess, make introductions.
- Set a Start & End Time
Then stick to it. To signal the party is over: stop serving drinks and food, turn the music down, offer to call a cab for anyone who needs one, and thank your guests for coming.
- On Point Food & Drinks
Keep it simple. Delicious nibbles plus one brand of beer, one white wine, one red wine, and a bowl of non-alcoholic punch. Whatever your menu, it should not involve the hostess in the kitchen cooking.
- Set the Scene
The tree, the lights, mistletoe optional. Rearrange the furniture if necessary so guests can stand, and sit, and mingle. Play a mix of Christmas and jazzy tunes. Keep the volume down so people can talk. And hear.
- Enjoy Your Own Party
Make Merry! Put on a killer party dress, amp up the makeup, smile, laugh, be charming and gracious, and— sober. Have a glass of champagne or a nightcap after everyone has gone home. You can toast yourself for such a great party.