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Tips for Planning a Holiday Party

Celebrating the holiday season with a big festive party is always fun, but it can also put quite a lot of stress on the party's host. If you're planning a large holiday party this year, consider the following tips to ensure you minimize the stress that comes along with festivities.

1. Hire an event planner.

At first blush, contracting a professional party coordinator to take over your event groundwork might seem like a luxury, but planning a big event on your own in the midst of your real life can be a real nightmare. Although this option might not appeal to everyone, event planners often pay for themselves in the eyes of those with hectic schedules or tight time frames. An event planner will work with you to create a memorable gathering while saving you the time of pinning down all the necessary details. If you find yourself trying to arrange a holiday gathering at the last minute, an event planners contacts, ideas, and experience are valuable allies to have in the party effort.

2. Be proactive to avoid Post Holiday Stress Disorder (PHSD).

Weddlady says that PHSD can afflict anyone who left something (or many things) undone until after the holiday, especially couples with wedding dates in the Spring. Although affianced couples might be doubly guilty, solo party coordinators are just as likely to give in to the temptation to put off getting started until after New Years. Its easy enough to do. But putting off the preparation necessary for a looming date until after the holidays can skyrocket your stress level once you come down to normalcy from the glittery highs of New Years and make you loathe the task at hand.

3. Think about cross-over opportunities.

Many of the tasks necessary to your post-holiday event can be combined with your holiday activities. If you want to check out a hair or makeup stylist for your event, use your try-out appointment as a chance to attend a holiday party that evening looking glamorous. While you make up a list of Christmas gift ideas, take the time to also jot down a list of party favors or host presents. If you happen to be hosting a smaller holiday get-together in the months before your big event, consider auditioning the caterer or baker of your choice at the smaller event to make sure theyre the one.

4.Find ways to keep your preparation chores fun.

For example, if you've been putting off sending out invitations because your address list is five years out of date and in dire need of an edit, go in with reinforcements: Recruit a good friend for cocktails to help you create a guest list; two pairs of hands stuff envelopes faster than one, and the conversations you have about mutual friends (and frenemies) will certainly make the time pass more enjoyably.

5. Reassure yourself that the details you think are in place actually are (and then forget about them).

If you've only listened to sample MP3s of your dance band or disc jockey, are you going to rest assured that the music is going to fit both you and your guests? Whenever you have the chance, its better for your state of mind to investigate your choices as fully as possible so that you can relax with the knowledge that things will be fine on the big day. If you can watch a party band you're considering play a gig similar to yours even better if you can attend a local entertainment showcase before you make a decision, you'll feel more assured in that decision and be able to relax about the details, taking the fact that the band will be fun and competent for granted. Without the worry that certain things might fall through, you'll be able to turn your attention to more pressing things like enjoying the season!

Find more party planning inspirations for Holiday Party Ideas

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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