It's the last entry of the Let's Look Link Up. We wrote about a bunch of stuff this year:
January New Year Organization
February What I eat in a week
April Date Night
June Summer Lunches
July How I Stay Healthy
August Everyday Cleaning
September Organize Your Closet
October Selecting Halloween Costumes
November Where we shop for our moms
For the last topic, we are writing about how we host holiday parties. Conveniently I just hosted a Christmas party on the weekend, so I can tell you exactly how I do that! Click on yesterday's post for photos.
Invitations - I invite people in three different ways - creating a Facebook event, sending emails to people I don't have on Facebook, and print paper invites to put in the mailboxes of our neighbours. We always invite everyone on our street, friends, local family, our kids' friends and their parents, and some co-workers. We always get a good mix of people. Originally this started as a great way to meet the people on our street, and now that we are established, it's a good way to meet the new people who have moved in.
Getting organized - Like many things, I have a Google Doc that I use for planning this party and I re-use it year after year. I write out the menu, what needs to be done to prepare, and what needs to be done the day of. We move all of our coats and shoes out of the front closet, hide away those toys with all the small parts or make a mess (lego, nerf guns, playdoh), move the couch around the maximize space, and put out extra garbage cans.
Food - We put out meat, cheese, and crackers, vegetables and dip, shrimp butter and oat cakes, meatballs, and a variety of cookies and sweets. Around 5:00 we make some sausage rolls and the asian variety pack form M and M Meats. The last couple of years the party has ended with a pizza delivery as well.
Drinks - I get several bottles of the same white and same red, we get several flats of beer, this year we made a pre-mixed Old Fashioned, and have lots of pop, Perrier, and juice boxes. We rent glasses, but we may look into buying some. I put together a drink list on the blackboard so people can see all of their choices. We encourage people to help themselves as the party gets going.
Guest Book - I am adamant that people sign the guest book so I get a tally of how many people were there and it's fun to look back to see who has come over the years.
Mingling - I try to welcome people in and see them out, and then in the meantime I'm having a few conversations, but I do feel like I'm never having too many deep discussions, but there are usually a few overlapping friend groups so people keep themselves entertained. The kids all go down to the basement to watch movies and play with the few toys we put out.
Cleaning Up - We try to do as much as possible the night of, at least gathering the glasses and beer cans, and piling the serving dishes by the sink.
Repeat - If you've got the formula down pat, don't change it up too much. I mean, it's nice to make a few changes, but the basics can stay the same.