Thanks to the fast-approaching holiday season, many of you are preparing to entertain friends and family. Although it might seem like quite a production, preparing for the holidays doesn’t have to be extravagant. Even the simplest of decorations can be elegant when executed well.

Don’t let yourself get too stressed out and overwhelmed by the thought of welcoming guests into your home, and all the preparation that goes into entertaining them. Try to enjoy this special time of year with those closest to you.

Here are some simple tips that will help you entertain during the holidays with style.

Party Preparation

The most important factors when planning your party are these three critical elements:

  • Food (the most critical, of course!)
  • Drinks
  • Conversation

If you’re not much of a cook, Catering by Michael’s can provide you with a variety of menu options, including both food and drink, to serve your guests. And there’s no need to worry about picky eaters, because our menus include gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. With regards to beverages, we offer many options for your non-alcohol drinker friends, as well as those who thoroughly enjoy cocktails.

Of course, the number one thing that starts the life of a party is the conversation. Not all your guests will know each other well, so as the host, make sure to create an atmosphere that will make it easy to interact with each other.

Bar Setup

It is important that your bar is set up away from the food to avoid the logistical nightmare of people flocking to one area. There’s no need to set up a full bar, instead focus on having options that will satisfy people’s basic taste preferences: beer, wine, and one or two types of liquor with popular mixers. In addition to your basic options, choose a nice signature cocktail (our favorite!) to serve guests that fits the spirit of the party.

Lighting and Candles

Good lighting will set the mood, and giving attention to the party atmosphere in terms of lighting contributes a dramatic result to your party setup. Displaying candles will create a warm and inviting atmosphere, so dim your lights and set up a tasteful arrangement of candles throughout the party. To ensure consistency, make sure candles are more or less the same color. Also, make sure to avoid scented options — some guests make be sensitive to certain types of smells.

Decorations and Music

An easy and tasteful way to entertain during the holidays with style? Display an assortment of fresh flowers! Flowers will make your holiday party area feel refreshing even if it’s crowded. Just don’t go overboard — a few bunches of fresh flowers is more than enough.

Wherever you’re serving food or entertaining guests, make sure to mind your table design. Choose a clean and holiday-appropriate tablecloth and centerpiece to bring the party together. Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a centerpiece — try to create one out of items you already own. 

Create a sense of depth at the center of the table for aesthetics. If you’re serving dessert, consider adding a cake/cupcake stand. You could also create a sense of depth by stacking fruits in a centerpiece or arranging candles of various heights.

Choose nice background music that will go with your party theme. Make sure that it’s not too loud to the point where guests have to shout over each other. Similarly, make sure the music isn’t too low that it can’t be heard. Without a nice balance, people might whisper to each other because it’s too quiet — awkward!

Find the Perfect Balance

The main expectation of a party host is that of entertainment, so be the life of the party! Jump start the conversation between guests who may not know each other. It’s a delicate balance being the host, and at the same time, make sure you’re having fun spending time with your family and friends.

Do not stress yourself out too much by thinking about how badly you want your party to be perfect. Don’t run around looking for things to clean or fix. If your guests are relaxed, then make an effort to let yourself relax, too! This will make your guests feel even more at home. 

We hope these ideas are helpful as you start planning your holiday party. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments!