Every year we host a Christmas party at our place with around 30 of our closet friends. And each year it gets a little more fun (#hectic) as more kiddies enter the mix. So, this time I'm vowing to be a little more laid-back and a lot more organised in my preparations. Enter the party planner checklist!
Here are the things I'm planning on doing to make the party run as smoothly as possible. The party planner checklists live inside my Christmas Binder along with the Christmas checklists (find them here) so everything is kept in one, easy-to-access location.
1. Everyone brings a plate
We've done this for the last 3 years, and not only does it save me a huge amount of time (and money) in the kitchen, it also adds to a more relaxed feel to the evening. The Party Planner checklist allows me to keep a record of what everyone's bringing and make sure there's an even spread of sweet and savoury.
2. Do as much of the cleaning throughout the week, but don't go overboard!
We're heading away to the beach this weekend, so cleaning-time on the house is limited... and I'm okay with that! I've done most of the bigger household chores throughout the year, plus we've been doing lots of decluttering recently in preparation for our renovation. So there's really just the general clean-up awaiting. At the end of the day, other people don't see the things you see that need to be done, so it's okay to relax about it. The to-do list is as minimal as this organiser can manage!
3. No-thought meals
In the lead-up to the party, dinners around here are going to be totally BASIC. Oven-baked risotto, easy pasta, quick quiche, pita pizza... I'm going for simple and no-stress. The best way to approach diner-time before Christmas I say!
4. Simple decorations
In past years I've handmade a lot of decorations, but this year we've kinda run out of time with it all. I planned on doing more crafty activities with the kids, but our days are looking pretty scheduled with other fun activities, so the craft will have to take a backseat. We're going for simple fresh greenery, fairy lights, paper lanterns and candles. Sometimes simple is best... like this look from Centsational Girl.
5. Set up the party for easy clean-up
As much as we can, we'll be encouraging guests to 'take care' of themselves at the party. A table set up with glasses and cups for guests to self-serve, another to lay the dinner items out buffet-style. Paper-plates and disposable cutlery will also be the go, and we'll be putting out trash and recycle bins so guests can assist with clean up. The backyard will be set up with the kids' toys and we'll try to keep the hoards out there as much as possible to avoid too much mayhem inside. Fingers are [as always] majorly crossed for good weather!
What are your tips for a stress-free party? Have you got one planned at your house this year?