You have selected a date and time for your gathering and invited guests. Now you need to decide how to host it. What most people want is a relaxed, informal holiday gathering, but that kind of gathering implies a lot of work. You want your guests to have a good time, but you want the host to have as little stress as possible. Here are some ideas to help you organize your holiday gathering.
1. Don’t overdo the seating. A crowded table can feel uncomfortable. People tend to sit close to other people they know, and it’s hard for them to feel like strangers.
2. Choose tables that are large enough to accommodate guests’ needs. A large table is great for conversation, but a large table means a lot of extra work for you, especially if your guests are carrying their own food.
3. Find the right balance between formality and informality. Some gatherings work best with fixed seating arrangements, some with assigned seating, and some with guests just milling about.
4. Provide easy, accessible seating for guests. For formal affairs, seating should be arranged so that guests can get to their seats without bumping into anyone. For informal affairs, seating should be arranged so that guests have room to move.
5. Choose a menu. A holiday party doesn’t have to revolve around food. However, the party will be more memorable if there are a variety of options available. Think about creating a menu that pairs well with finger foods, appetizers, and desserts. Also, take into consideration your guests’ dietary restrictions. If some of your guests have allergies or special needs, provide options for them.
6. Choose a season-appropriate theme. Having a theme for your gathering can help make it festive and memorable. A winter party, for instance, can give you the chance to wear warm clothing, decorate with snowflakes and snowmen, and play a game or two. You can also use the season-specific items available to you. For example, if you are having a Christmas gathering, holiday music, special decorations, and eggnog can help create a festive mood.