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6 Ways to Throw a Stress-free Holiday Party

December 3, 2013

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It’s holiday party season, my favorite time of year! I absolutely love planning and throwing parties for my friends and family. I look forward to everything from putting together the guest list and menu to greeting guests and catching up with old friends.

As much as I love throwing parties, I do have a tendency to invest too much time and energy into the event. Holiday parties should be fun, especially when it’s your party! If you’re like me and love being the hostess with the mostess, try these simple tricks for throwing a great party without stressing out or spending days and days on preparation.


1.    Send out evites

Handwritten or mailed invitations are a wonderful touch, but completely unnecessary! Send out a fun and festive e-card to all of your friends instead, and remember to ask them to RSVP by a certain date. Planning a party is much easier if you know how many people are attending.

2.    Don’t over commit

It’s easy to spend hours on Pinterest pinning dozens of party ideas, but know your limits. Pick one or two decorating projects or new recipes and leave it at that. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of party you are throwing. If it’s a dinner party, pick a theme for the evening and ask each person to bring their favorite dish so you don’t have to cook everything. If you don’t want to ask people to bring food, just plan on appetizers instead of a sit-down dinner.

3.    Find do-ahead recipes

Spend less time in the kitchen during your party and more time with guests by choosing dishes that take little effort and can be made in advance. My favorite party appetizer is a build-your-own crostini bar. Just fill small mason jars with your favorite crostini toppings – tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, roasted squash – anything goes! Before the party, slice your bread, toast it slightly, and you’re good to go. 

4.    Make a cheese platter

If you’re not sure what to serve, remember that you can always fall back on a good cheese platter. Just set out a few types of cheese and garnish with some grapes, walnuts, and honey. It looks impressive and your guests will never know it only took five minutes to create. Serving a vegan crowd? Take the same approach with a fruit and nut platter. Arrange a mix of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and maybe even some raw chocolate!

5.    Take a meditation break

Before the party, take a quick break from prepping to meditate. This will help clear your head and any pre-party stress will melt away. I love to do this meditation from Gabby Bernstein. It’s meant to help you resolve inner conflict, but the breathing exercise also instantly relieves stress and anxiety.

 6.    Remember, it’s just a party. Have fun!

At the end of the day, no one is going to remember that you ran out of gluten-free crackers or your slightly burnt dessert. Just take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy this time with your family and friends!

Do you have any go to stress-free party tips?