Holiday Celebration Checklist


‘Tis the season to celebrate. This year, throw a happy (not hectic!) holiday party to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Follow this checklist to have yourself a merry holiday soiree.

Decide on a date, time and theme.

Whether it’s a festive friends get-together or a glittering New Year’s celebration, plan invitations and décor to kick off and carry out a merry motif. Some options include “A Few of our Favorite Things,” “Ugly Sweater Party,” “Winter Wonderland” or even a “Merry Grinch-mas” bash.

Send out invites.

Mail, email and even phone invites are all acceptable options to get the word out. In most cases, two to three weeks’ notice is best.

Plan a no-hassle menu.

For an evening event, serve easy finger foods buffet-style so your guests don’t have to balance plates while cutting with flimsy plastic utensils. Think rolls with deli meats, spiced nuts, dips and crudités. Or, consider a leisurely brunch with delicious make-ahead breakfast casseroles, muffins, fruit and mimosas.

Baking spirits bright.

If you want to prepare special party nosh-ables, make the freezer your new best friend. Nix long hours in the kitchen, and plan food that can be prepared ahead of time and pulled out for a perfect party feast.

Create a new favorite thing.

It’s all in the details. Add some wow to your party with a memorable drink, menu or activity. Try a gingerbread house decorating contest, hot cocoa bar or a signature candy cane martini. Or, amp up the holiday ambience with the incredible wafting aroma of non-alcoholic, delicious pineapple wassail.

Create a festive welcome.

Nothing says joy to the world – or at least to your neighbors and friends – like a front door embellished with holiday décor. From simple greenery to an all-out LED light display, outfit your front door and home with some holiday cheer.

Celebration countdown:

One week out:

  • Do your big shopping run (everything except perishables).
  • Prepare any freezable dishes on the menu.
  • Thoroughly clean your home.
  • Pull out your serving dishes. Borrow or buy extras if you need them.

Two days before:

  • Buy perishables (bread, produce, dairy and ice).
  • Start setting up the party area – buffet table with platters and utensils. Consider making a display of varying heights by covering books or boxes with a tablecloth or a sheet.
  • Remove items, especially breakables, and clutter that might be in the way.

One day out:

  • Arrange candles, greenery and/or table coverings.
  • Perform any touch up cleaning.
  • Thaw frozen dishes/edibles in the refrigerator.
  • Chill beverages.
  • Prep or pick up appetizers.

Party day:

  • Arrange platters of food.
  • Set up drink area.
  • Designate an area for coats.
  • Enjoy yourself!

Put your hosting skills on display in your own Pardee home. Our New Home Specialists are here to help.

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