How to throw a smashing holiday party

The holidays are a time of celebration, and one popular way to celebrate the holidays is by throwing a holiday party.

According to Erica Simpson, assistant professor of communication and Rome Area Counsel for the Arts event planner, there are five things to think about before you ever start planning a holiday party.

The first thing to think about is the direction or theme of the party. It can be a fancy event or a tacky Christmas sweater party. The theme of the party is going to influence the rest of the planning.

The next thing to think about is who, when and how long. When thinking about who to invite, one idea is to mix up guests. Simpson suggests inviting people who don’t normally hang out with each other in order to form new relationships.

The date of the party is also an important factor. Parties during the week tend to be milder, whereas a weekend offers guests a chance to loosen up. Also, the time of the party and how long the party will last can influence the party atmosphere. If you throw a party in the afternoon, you should put an end time on the invitation so your guests know when it is time to go home.

The third thing to consider when planning a party is the food. Would your guests enjoy a full meal or simple hors d’oeuvres? The type of food can also be influenced by the time of day the party is held. When a party is held during a meal time, guests expect to be fed a full meal. Hors d’oeuvres are more acceptable during afternoon or late evening parties.

The next thing to consider goes hand in hand with the theme of the party, and that is how to dress for the party. If the theme is tacky Christmas sweaters, make sure your guests know to show up in a tacky Christmas sweater. Otherwise, you will be the only one in a tacky sweater and your guests might start to question your fashion choices.

The last thing to think about is entertainment for the party. Music is essential to any party, and a great thing to do is personalize your playlist for the party. If you know the guests have favorite songs, include them in the playlist. Since it is a holiday party, gift exchanges are a fun way to enhance things. Fun games like Dirty Santa give all the guests chances to get to know each other. Whichever direction you decide to go, throwing a holiday party is a great way to celebrate the holidays.