Six tips for hosting a party that will last

Thanking a host in advance and looking forward to welcoming your friends at your house is a rite of passage. However, you’ll want to start early if you want to avoid delays at the…

Six tips for hosting a party that will last

Thanking a host in advance and looking forward to welcoming your friends at your house is a rite of passage. However, you’ll want to start early if you want to avoid delays at the door and the inevitable overtime. Here are some tips to take the stress out of your holiday party:

Don’t pack: Let guests know your schedule — by email or pre-printed envelope — so they know what time they can arrive and stay at your house.

Let guests know your schedule — by email or pre-printed envelope — so they know what time they can arrive and stay at your house. The going rate: If the party is your first time hosting, you can get away with $10 per guest for a four-person group and $50 per guest for a 10-person group. However, if you regularly host large parties, decide how much you want to charge in advance.

If the party is your first time hosting, you can get away with $10 per guest for a four-person group and $50 per guest for a 10-person group. However, if you regularly host large parties, decide how much you want to charge in advance. Create the know-it-all: Ensure that your guests know where the party is happening and what to expect, like the alcohol policy. Don’t be vague about what you’re serving — keep a menu handout on hand so guests can pick their own drinks.

Ensure that your guests know where the party is happening and what to expect, like the alcohol policy. Don’t be vague about what you’re serving — keep a menu handout on hand so guests can pick their own drinks. Let the booze flow: Leaning too heavily on alcohol can be dangerous, so be conscious of what you’re serving. Let them know ahead of time what’s serving, plus how many it is (this will help them remember how much they’re going to drink).

Leaning too heavily on alcohol can be dangerous, so be conscious of what you’re serving. Let them know ahead of time what’s serving, plus how many it is (this will help them remember how much they’re going to drink). Move fast: While it’s a good idea to have some inventory on hand, get at least a few of your drinks (be sure to keep them separate so you can keep an eye on them). Also, keep plenty of water and non-alcoholic options on hand.

While it’s a good idea to have some inventory on hand, get at least a few of your drinks (be sure to keep them separate so you can keep an eye on them). Also, keep plenty of water and non-alcoholic options on hand. Keep your door open: At a crowded party, let your guests know your location and just a few minutes before the party begins so they don’t have to hurry by.

At a crowded party, let your guests know your location and just a few minutes before the party begins so they don’t have to hurry by. Enlist an “office chair”: If you’re not familiar with the kitchen layout, why not make an entrance — or in this case, an exit — and employ an office chair? This will give everyone a little extra wiggle room to get out the door without getting tangled up in some ho-hum decor.

If you’re not familiar with the kitchen layout, why not make an entrance — or in this case, an exit — and employ an office chair? This will give everyone a little extra wiggle room to get out the door without getting tangled up in some ho-hum decor. Brag: Get excited! Ask your guests for photos and videos of the party and host a party playlist.

Do some soul-searching: Maybe you love hosting parties, and maybe you’re not all that skilled — but there are various ways to try it, and sometimes they don’t require too much extra time. If you’re uncomfortable with party prep, offer to bring something from home. For example, you can grab some opening or de-cluttering supplies from your pantry, and invite your guests to help yourselves.

Do some soul-searching: Maybe you love hosting parties, and maybe you’re not all that skilled — but there are various ways to try it, and sometimes they don’t require too much extra time. If you’re uncomfortable with party prep, offer to bring something from home. For example, you can grab some opening or de-cluttering supplies from your pantry, and invite your guests to help themselves. Be flexible:

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