Now that the Christmas fun is over, it’s time to concentrate on the New Year, and what better way to usher 2013 in than with a big grand celebration in the form of a party for family and friends ?

But as fun an necessary as these parties may be, the stress that you are likely to experience when you are the one tagged for planning it is tremendous. Whether it is for family only or for family and friends, you want to throw a great party that meets everyone’s expectations. You want it to be the type of party that people try to emulate later. With some careful planning, your guests will be ho-ho-ho-ing about it for years to come and you will hear nary a “Bah Humbug!”

Decide What Kind Of Party You Are Throwing

This is key! Decide if the party is going to be formal or informal. Are you going to have it catered, potluck, or are you going to cook dinner yourself? These decisions will help narrow down your options in theme, food, music, decorations and much more. A word of advice: Combining styles rarely works very well, so pick one and stick with it.

Make Lists For Phases Of The Planning

  • A list of food.
  • A list of guests.
  • A list of what to do when.

The best thing you can do to make sure you have a good party is to make a list and check it twice. And then check it twice again. It will help relieve some stress and make sure you hit all the marks along the way.

Arrange The Space

Keep the flow for the party guests uncluttered and smooth. If you have a large area, segregate drinks in one area, food in another and leave open space for guests to mingle with each other or dance to music.  If you have a multiple room venue, you can spread it all out to help keep traffic moving and engaging all the participants.

Strategic Food Placement

In a single large room environment, setting up the food along a wall seems to work best. It is easy access, yet out of the way. For multiple rooms, spread the food out. Maybe set up appetizers in the living room, serve dessert on the deck and place the main course in the kitchen or dining room area. It will keep people moving around throughout the party and help with mingling.

Easy And Creative Drinks

Single serve drinks are fine for formal engagements but it may be a better idea to have punch bowls for larger informal gatherings. Eggnog can be colored red or green with food coloring. Combined with non-alcoholic punches, the drink display can add to the festive atmosphere while parching the thirst of party-goers. If you are going more formal, you can always add a fountain.

Theme Within The Theme

This is possible regardless of the size of gathering and its formal or informal status.

Informal parties can have a Charlie Brown or Rudolph theme, especially if they are family or kid-friendly affairs. Even sticking with candy canes or snowmen can add aplomb to the event, making it more memorable.

Throwing a good party does not have to be a difficult or insurmountable task. The season comes with a generous amount of good cheer. And even though the day is actually over, you’re allowed to add some Christmas cookies, carols and red ribbon to make sure that your party is the highlight of the season! 

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