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HOME & GARDEN ARTICLES

Christmas Party Planning Tips

Plan ahead, it's attention to detail that makes the difference. Allow plenty of time to prepare, make a list and shop smart. Things are hectic when party-time approaches so stay organized.

Hors D'oeuvres
Choose your finger snacks carefully. Choose foods that complement each other. Try setting a theme for the food in each room or on each table. Allow 4 to 6 hot hors d'oeurves per person. Don't serve gooey, drippy sauces near expensive rugs or furniture.

Invitations
Written invites are a great idea. Try to make them fun and different. Use your personality but don't forget the basics like: hours. Tell your guests when the party starts and when it will end. Specify the hour in advance to avoid confusion. Let your guests know what kind of attire is appropriate. If you're anticipating a semi-formal gathering, let them know.

Liquor
If your guests are expected to bring their own booze, let them know in the invitation. If you're serving alcohol, don't forget the ice. You can never have too much ice at a party. Use quality ice for the best tasting mixed drinks. Add fresh fruit to your shopping list. Limes, Lemons and Oranges should be sliced in advance. Consider making two punch bowls; one with booze and one without for your non-imbibing guests. Remember, you are responsible for the safety of your guests, so do not encourage excessive drinking.

Smoking
If your party is being held in a non-smoking household try to make accommodations for smokers. A room with a fan blowing out is a nice thought. If you do not have a place for smokers let them know in advance that the party is held in a non-smoking household. Guest Books Providing a guest book can be much fun and help make the party memorable. Don't be afraid to put out a guest book and invite your guests to sign-in as they arrive.

Atmosphere
Create a festive party atmosphere with decorations, scents and music. Having a dinner partyor a Christmas party for your coworkers? Try out some Creative Place Card Ideas. Use scented candles or simmer a pot of water with cinnamon and citrus fruit to fill the house with a delightful aroma. Choose your favorite music and have it playing softly in the background when guests arrive. Consider unplugging or removing your television if it's located in the party area. Nothing spoils the interaction of guests quicker than a group of people huddled around a television set. Decorate your home with the flowers of the season or a festive centerpiece for your holiday table.

Lighting
Creative lighting will contribute much to the atmosphere. Try replacing some bulbs with colored lamps or low wattage bulbs. Parking Try to make provisions for parking in advance. If you will be allowing guests to park on the lawn or in the back yard, let them know in your invitation. Ask your neighbors about parking options or warn them that guests will be parking on the street.

Seating
Consider removing all the chairs from the party area. This will create more room for people to mingle. Extras A scented candle in the bathroom is a nice touch. Leave an extra roll of toilet tissue in easy view. Accidents and Spills Accidents are part of life. Don't let an accident or spill ruin the party. Have some spot remover on hand just in case.

Gifts
It's always a good idea to bring a small gift to a party even if the host or hostess instructs you not to in the invitation. Bring along a bottle of wine, some flowers, or chocolates to show your appreciation.

Coffee & Snacks
You can never have too much food at a party. Be sure to have plenty of hot coffee and snacks on hand for late in the evening. Now that the work is done, relax! Let your guests enjoy themselves. With the proper ingrediants in place everyone should have a great time. With good food, good cheer and good friends you can't miss! Party hearty and have fun. Make room for guests who have had too much to eat or drink. Don't let a guest who over drinks drive, it could save a life and it could save you from a lawsuit.