{Guest Post} Glow Event Design’s 10 Steps to a Fabulous Holiday Party



December is one of our favorite months –downtown is decked with pretty decorations, people are full of holiday cheer and Starbucks has moved from the Pumpkin Latte to the Peppermint Mocha. Tis the season for sharing joy with friends and family, and one of the BEST ways to do this is by hosting a holiday party. Don’t know where to begin? Here are our 10 Steps to host a successful holiday party.

Step 1: Send an Invitation

If you don’t have time for snail mail, we suggest Paperless Post. You can choose from pretty designs and virtual “stamps” are very affordable. This is definitely a step up from the impersonal Evite or a plain email.

Step 2: Choose a Fun Color Scheme

Bright Red and Green are tried & true, but you can give your party a fresh look by choosing different shades of these classics. Try Mint with pops of red and white, or a darker shade of Burgundy with Gold. For those more avant-garde, we like ice blue with silver, and hot pink. And don’t be afraid to bring in a pattern or motif for some “pop!” Plaid , chevron and polka dots are great options.

Fun patterns add a “pop” to your color palette!





Step 3: Deck the Halls with Decor

Using your color palette, decorate your house in the areas guests will congregate. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but you’ve got to have something that makes your house say “Hey, I’m hosting a party!” This can be as simple as a lovely centerpiece on the buffet table and a pretty wreath on the door, or you can go all out and swag your doorways in garland. We especially love colored glass candlesticks, and anything sparkly. HomeGoods, Cost Plus and Target are great spots to find good deals.






Step 3: Create a Menu

No need to cook a full meal, but guests will appreciate little nibbles. Select a mix of savory and sweet, and be sure to provide options for any known food allergies. We suggest working in holiday favorites like ginger cookies, or peppermint cupcakes. Not the Betty Crocker type? No problem! Store bought items can easily be spruced up with cute serving dishes, or a lovely linen on the table.






Step 4: The Signature Cocktail

Get creative with your mixology skills and create a special drink for your guests. Food Network has a great list of 25 holiday drink recipes, with options from Eggnog and Mulled Wine, to Jack infused cider. Expecting a large guest count? Choose something you can pre-make in batches for quick pouring.




Step 6: Entertainment

Provide your guests with something fun to do. Set up an impromptu photo booth with handmade props and a Polaroid, have a cookie decorating station, or pass out holiday trivia cards as conversation starters. These will help your guests mingle and get to know each other.




Step 7: Give Back to the Community

The Holiday Season is time to open our hearts and share with those less fortunate. We suggest collecting toys for a children’s charity, or having a jar available for your guests to put donations in.  Be sure to mention this on your invitation so people know to come prepared.

Step 8: Dress up!

It’s your party, and you can wear sequin if you want to.

Step 9: Set an End Time

To avoid people staying until the early morning hours, set an end time on your invitation. Better yet, coordinate a “post party” destination for those guests who’d like to keep the party going.

Step 10:  Send Them Home with a Little Love

A small wrapped candy favor, or satchel of mulling spices – just something to say “thank you” for their friendship throughout the year.


About the author: Christina Millikin is the owner of Glow Event Design, a boutique event planning company in San Francisco. With a creative eye for design, she and her team plan all types of events including weddings, corporate events and social soirees.


Read previous post:
How to Create a Collaborative Album using Google+

Here's how you can create a collaborative album using google +. A collaborative album will allow your friends and family...