How to Make Your Holiday Party Stand Out

by Mike Halterman

HotSpots! Magazine

Friday December 19, 2014

If you're like me, you'll be going to quite a few holiday parties in the final month of the year. So many parties revolving around one thing...it can be so easy for them to blend together. How can you make sure your party will stand out from the rest? I'm here to give you a few tips to accomplish just that.

YOUR PARTY SHOULD HAVE A THEME

Wait, a theme besides "The Holidays?" That's exactly what I mean. By all means, keep the things that people like about the holidays. Happily dish out that egg nog and keep The Carpenters' Christmas Hits playing on Spotify. But give your party a secondary theme.

Think up a few in your head and make a list of them. Are you a fan of the film "Frozen?" Have a "Frozen Wonderland" theme party and encourage your friends to dress up. If you don't want to dress up, you don't have to. A "Holidays in Florida" party would be a perfect opportunity to plan something poolside! Or you can deck out your house like a picture window at Macy's and call your party's theme "Miracle on 34th Street."

Once you have a few theme ideas ready, post them to social media and ask your friends to pick their favorite. That way, your friends are engaged in the party-planning process with you, and it will give them another reason to come see you and wish you glad tidings.

ASK YOUR FRIENDS WHAT THEY WANT

To expand on the last paragraph, you should ask your friends what they would like to see at your party. Now obviously you don't have to go all-out and hire entertainment or anything like that, but maybe your friends would like to partake in certain beverages (alcoholic or otherwise) that you also enjoy. Some of your friends may have certain dietary needs that cause them to skip the food trays at most holiday parties; finding out about these needs and catering for them can mean a lot to these people. Asking those questions to your friends via social media is an easy way to ensure that your friends will attend your party and have fun there as well.

WHAT TO DO AT YOUR TO-DO

Now some of you may have never thrown a party before. Your question for me is probably, "Well, what if I'm no good at entertaining?" It's pretty easy to introduce your friends and acquaintances to one another and chat with all of them...but if you want something more, consider this event that will break the ice and have everyone approving of your party and your skills as a host. I read about it in Marie Claire magazine, and I think they have the right idea.

Put up a tree in your house if you haven't already. It doesn't have to be a huge tree; a smaller version will do. Ask all your friends to bring ornaments, tinsel, the whole nine yards. Decorate the tree together, and then have all of your friends tell the group why they brought the decorations they did, and what decorations they like on the tree, which will by that point be finished and fabulous. Just think: You got your friends to do some of your decorating for you!

Want to mix up the traditional Yankee Swap? Have all of your friends buy a certain kind of gift: for example, everyone loves music; ask that everyone buy tickets to upcoming concerts. Or if you know all your guests would appreciate good movies, have everyone buy a DVD of a movie they like. It will be very interesting to see who picks which gift and how everyone ends up with their final prizes!

DECORATE TO YOUR TASTES

We already covered what to do to please your guests, so be sure to put your own touches on your holiday party by decorating accordingly. Keep the reds and greens, of course, but be sure to add some touches that tells your guests that you're the host - that it's uniquely you.

Country singer Trisha Yearwood loves roses, so she made sure to choose roses to place in her wreath and as centerpieces on tables around her house. Days of our Lives actress Alison Sweeney loves the color purple, so purple and lilac tones were paired with snow white all over her house last Christmas. Taylor Swift loves decorating so much that she's even approved a line of her own ornaments, available for purchase via her website taylorswift.com. (No word on whether she decorates her tree with them!)

HAVE FUN!

This is the most important piece of advice. The best way you can make your party stand out is to de-stress, let your hair down, and let everyone enjoy the humor and personality that make you who you are. If you follow this tip, and all of the other ones, your party will definitely be fresh and a hit!

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