The holiday season is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited here in Walker Villas! Whether it’s an intimate gathering of friends, a big football party, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas, we’re ready to entertain. But does entertaining cause you sleepless nights and a little stress? There’s no reason to worry. We’ve got you covered with great tips for entertaining this season, no matter how large or small your party will be!
You are the host and everyone will follow your lead. If you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, everyone else will too. Focus on putting out a calm and happy vibe and revel in the fun of having friends over to your home.
We have many exciting and interesting (yet easy) decorating tips to share with you to make your party a success. Remember that many of these tips can be adapted to whatever party it is you’re hosting.
*Use small white twinkle lights on the patio, across the mantel, or over a doorway. No matter the occasion, twinkle lights add ambiance to the festivities.
*Create your own palate of colors, shapes and sizes, and decorations--not everything has to go together or match. Sometimes the best tables have a variety of plates, glasses, and tableware. Mix and match to your style!
*Decorate a mantel using glassware and vases of different shapes and sizes. Depending on the party theme, place ornaments, fall decorations or mini footballs in a beer glass or a single ornament in a martini glass. Fill a glass with holiday candies. Gather berries from a tree and float them in a glass with water. Fill a large vase with ornaments. The sky’s the limit with this one!
*Create an organic centerpiece by gathering branches, twigs, and berries from your yard or nature walk. Place the items in jars or vases.
*Decorate a serving tray with various colored ornaments or other holiday items. Use gold or silver for maximum impact and tuck in evergreen or holly branches to create a simple yet elegant centerpiece.
*Use holiday-themed scrapbook paper to create different sized cone “trees.” Simply cut and fold papers to create cone shapes and use double-sided tape to produce a seamless design. This can work for any party just by using the best themed paper you can find! You can even use the trees as place holders on the table by writing each person’s name on them-or what about writing a simple quote or a bit of trivia on each tree?
*Hang single ornaments tied with long ribbons from a window. A bit of color to brighten a room!
*Light up the walkway to your home with battery-operated candles or luminaries. Nothing says welcome to our home better than this.
*Ambiance is always important, so dim the lights and light the candles. If you’re cautious about using real candles, substitute battery-operated candles and votives to create a warm and inviting glow.
Do you have your favorite go-to recipes, love to try new ones, or fall somewhere in-between? No matter what applies to you, don’t overwhelm yourself. Choose a couple of tried and true recipes, ask for help, and keep it simple!
*Create a plan for the food so you aren’t trying to prepare and cook everything the day of the event. Shop several days in advance, bake a couple of days prior, make food that can be refrigerated the night before and then placed in the oven with that last bit of cooking saved for the day of the party.
*Don’t feel like you have to prepare everything! Let the store do it for you and buy some prepared dishes and appetizers. Purchase veggie and appetizer trays, sandwich platters, or desserts.
*Don’t say no. Let your friends and family contribute their favorite foods to the gathering.
*If you are offering drinks at your party, skip the full bar and the cost that comes with it, and offer beer, wine, and a tasty punch or cocktail that can be made ahead of time.
We love entertaining, spending time with friends and family, and celebrating the holidays, although when hosting, there’s nothing like a party to raise your stress level. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect or over the top to be a success. So what can you do to keep it more fun and stress-free?
*Know that whatever you do is just fine with your friends and family. Putting pressure on yourself to have everything be perfect is going to be counterproductive, so breathe and relax. Your friends and family will love being able to get together and share some laughs.
*Don’t feel that you have to host your holiday party on the actual day, but do it before or after. Your family or friends might find it hard to get together on the actual day, so having a pre/post-holiday party instead might be just the ticket!
*Make appetizers, order pizzas, host a taco bar, or have a potluck. It doesn’t have to be a fancy sit-down dinner.
*Get together with your friends or family and head to a spa for the full treatment the day after the party.
*Don’t forget to exercise. We get so busy and we forget to take care of ourselves. Your mind and body will thank you and you’ll reduce any stress you’re feeling.
*Practice the “stop and smell the roses” theory, or in this case, the smell of pine trees, turkey, cinnamon, cookies baking, candles burning, and fresh air. Keep things in perspective.
Check out this website for some great ideas for stress-free holiday entertaining.
No matter what party or holiday you’re planning, take time for yourself and delight in the experience. By the way, did you know that our luxury ranch-style condominium homes are perfect for entertaining? With open floor plans, room for everyone, and large kitchens, you’ll be the envy of all of your friends. See our floor plans here and pick out your perfect party home!