TIPS FROM THE PROS FOR THE MODERN HOLIDAY HOST
Just the idea of hosting a holiday party is enough to send some people straight to the punch bowl! Don’t worry. We’re here to help. With four decades of event production experience, the NYFC team offers these tips to make hosting the perfect holiday party or any other event you host…simple and easy.
CREATE AN OPEN & FESTIVE SPACE
There’s nothing that makes a guest feel more welcome during the holidays than an open, inviting home. Here are a few easy tips that will ensure perfect party flow.
- Keep the guest list appropriate for the size of your home. NYFC likes to maximize the entertaining area in every space so guests can freely explore the party.
- Keep the traffic moving. Good party flow is essential for optimum enjoyment. Relocate furniture and your personal decor to allow for hazard free movement for your guests.
- Divide and conquer. It’s never a good idea to have all of your food and beverages in the same area. Separate the savory and the sweet offerings and position beverages so that guests can mingle, sip, graze, and easily access other spaces. Tray pass a specialty cocktail like spiced cider or a glass of champagne as guest arrive, then setup the bar across the room or outside (weather permitting). Place coffee and tea near the dessert display.
A common curiosity for most hosts is “how much food do I need”? The best gauge starts with the question: “what time are guests arriving”? Whether it’s a cocktail party, open house or brunch, the event start time is the best “food meter”. Hosts may think that because they are calling it a “cocktail party” they can offer less food. The reality is that a cocktail party suggests more about how the food will be presented versus quantity. Should the start time be within a typical dinner hour, guests will expect a satisfying dinner portion. And if your invite calls for a cocktail reception at 8:00 pm, party goers will most likely have eaten so it’s fine to serve some light savory snacks coupled with a decadent dessert display.
DECK YOUR HALLS
NYFC recommends “winter-like” effects – snow covered birch branches, pine cones and seasonal greenery. Add the glow of candles and lanterns, hanging snowflakes, antique copper and silver serving pieces, mercury glass and sparkling twinkle lights for finishing touches. All of these items are easy to procure and simple to set up. Want to take your decorating to the next level? Consult a professional party decorator to help create your own personal wonderland.
SAY CHEERS WITH FESTIVE SIPS
There’s just something about a beautifully hand-crafted cocktail. The glass and garnish are almost as important as the drink itself- think martini glass drizzled with dark chocolate, dipped in crushed graham crackers or NYFC’s custom hot chocolate bar with moist gourmet marshmallows sprinkled with coco dust served in a pretty pedestal mug. Fresh herbs are a perfect garnish for cocktails like the gin and cranberry martini below. We recommend two signature drinks and a fun non -alcoholic cocktail or punch.
HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS
We thank you for taking the time to consult our best Holiday Party Hosting tips. And the entire team at New York Food Company in Southern California wishes you a very happy holiday season!
P.S. Get more catering tips from NYFC’s Questions to Ask a Caterer blog series.