The tinsel is glistening in the light, mistletoe hanging in doorways. Gifts begin to appear beneath carefully selected trees, and not the Charlie Brown type. Though Thanksgiving has yet to grace us with its presence, we are dreaming of holidays and Christmases to come.
Reminiscing of the holidays is easy; some of our best memories were made around Chestnuts literally roasting on an open fire. It’s all fun and games until you have to plan a dinner party, though. What to do? You have a guest list of 30 and no clue. Don’t worry (we didn’t mean to rhyme but) this blog post is just for you!
1. Guest Count
It’s impossible to know how much food and space you need if you don’t know how many guests you are hosting. Send out an invitation to your close friends and family, and request a prompt RSVP. E-vites are perfectly fine for a holiday fete, but something handlettered or calligraphed ups the ante for sure.
2. Furniture Fiasco
Now that you know the amount of people you are hosting, find out whether you have the proper furniture to accommodate them. If not, seek out friends to bring pieces from home, or, if you are looking for a more tailored look, rent out a few items! Glamour & Woods, Dang Fine Party Rentals, Prim Unique Rentals, & Classic Party Rentals are a few of our faves in the Phoenix area.
You do realize that you are now responsible for everyone’s sustenance, right?! Don’t panic; we have a plan: Epicurious. Select a few recipes you like, and we recommend that you practice the entire thing once over before actually making the feast. If you don’t consider yourself a Betty Crocker, find a delish restaurant that caters to do the work for you. A few of the best local spots: La Grande Orange Grocery, Whole Foods Market, & Arcadia Farms.
4. Attention to Detail
We have all been to the same dinner party over and over. Drab linens. Overdone china. Crystal glassware. Robots, much? Don’t be afraid to switch it up by adding names to each place setting, using geometric patterns, and pairing festive flowers with your tables. Each event and home is different; just make sure you stay true to yourself when coming up with the design concept. If design is not your forte, call up the girlfriend who does these things all the time. Promise she will be more than happy to help.
5. Good Spirits
And you can bet your butt we ain’t talking about a positive outlook. What is your wine and liquor list looking like? This should be just as curated as your food menu. Please don’t only offer champagne and tequila. Also, doing just beer and wine is okay. As the host, you can make these decisions. You could even surprise everyone with a welcome shot… get festive!
6. Who's Who
This is a huge deal at awards shows. If there is any conflict between anyone in the group you are inviting, be sure not to exacerbate these issues by seating enemies next to one another. In the same sense, if there is a huge family blow-up between cousin Anna and her mom Suzy, it may not be a good idea to invite both! Stakes tend to run high around the holidays, and the last thing you want is an all-out brawl featuring a short-rib food fight in your dining room.
Through all the glitter, gifts, and glamour, we sometimes forget what the holidays are truly about. We are called to love others, to spend time with friends and family. Spread joy, drink eggnog, laugh heartily. At the end of the day, none of these other steps matter if this last one is done right.
And with that, we have helped you create the perfect holiday dinner party. Now go be your fabulous self; you have guests to entertain!