9 Savvy Tips for Hosting a Great Holiday Party
Local event expert Audrey Pierot shares how to be the host with the most.
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Audrey Pierot of Scarsdale-based Audrey Pierot Events has 25 years of experience in the special event industry. Here, she shares her tips on how to host a holiday party that your guests will talk about for months to come.
Keep things fresh: Don’t do ugly sweater party. It’s been done before and [is] not fresh. And, really no one is receiving these sweaters anymore so it’s silly to have to go out and buy them. If you need a theme, have everyone come as their favorite holiday persona. You friends will have a blast showing off their favorite things about the holiday.
Know your space: Make sure your home can accommodate comfortably the number of guests you are inviting. If you have a tiny house, don’t invite 100 people.
Station Master: For a fun take on dining, scatter cocktail-style tables around the house with different food stations. Buffets can get clustered and no one likes to stand in line. Sit-down dinners can be stuffy, which is why I recommend breaking up the food areas to different tables.
You can do a variety of different foods at different stations. Think outside of the box. Also, when people help themselves, they end up talking to other guests a lot more. Remember that if you want to have a cocktail-style event where not everyone is seated at the same time, all of the courses should be fork friendly. No knives required!
Pre-Game: Not all party-goers will show on up time. Guests should be greeted with a cocktail and a snack before the main meal is served. Give your guests a little time to arrive.
Delegate: It’s a good idea to bring in a day-of chef. You want to have fun at your own party and play the part of a relaxed host — not be wondering if the meat is raw. The point of the party is to enjoy your friends and family. It’s best if you know of a caterer or foodie who can recommend someone. Make sure you meet them ahead of time to go over the menu and get to know them. Do you want this person in your house?
Set the mood: Have background music. A party without music doesn't resonate, but make sure it's soft so people can talk.
Pay it forward: You can request guests bring non-perishable food items that can be donated to a food bank. If you don’t create a loving feeling, then it’s just another holiday party you have around the season. Bring warmth.
Décor: You don't have to go crazy on décor. It's a personal choice. Candles are inexpensive, yet have a big impact. Just make sure they are encased in glass and no one will get hurt.
The finishing touch: I always recommend mini desserts. People are usually full, but want to taste a couple of sweets. No yule logs!