Countdown to a perfect holiday party

Two hands are shown on a table that is filled with festive holiday items, including a cake, a gold present, forks and party favors.

Is your home a holiday party headquarters for family and friends? Or are you going to host an epic New Year’s Eve party? No matter what the occasion, planning is key to success.

Follow these steps and you will be on your way to a festive occasion your guests will enjoy!

Three weeks before the party

Create a guest list and email invites. If you want to go old school with traditional invites sent through the mail, back that up a week. But still use an email for RSVPs.

Plan a menu around foods you can easily prepare in minutes: skewers of mozzarella balls, basil and cherry tomatoes, bites of chicken teriyaki made ahead and frozen, hummus with pita triangles and fresh fruit and veggies – you get the idea.

Don’t forget a showstopper dessert. Holiday-themed cupcakes, anyone?

Stock up on popular flavored seltzers and juices. XS™ Energy drinks are great to drink out of hand or as mixers.

One week before the party

Create the perfect music playlist from your own collection or a free music streaming service. Plan enough that you can let it run all evening without worry.

Choose a party outfit that’s comfy, fun and flattering. Don’t forget standout jewelry. A statement necklace or festive earrings add just the right pop to a simple outfit chosen for hosting duties.

Give your house a deep clean and make plans for last minute touch-ups as the party draws year.

Two days before the party

Clean out your refrigerator. Discard old items to make room for groceries and the appetizers you’ll make the next day. And clean the shelves of any spills that have appeared since your last cleaning.

Buy your groceries, seasonal flowers, other decorations, party favors and any extra ice you may need.

Plan out the buffet space, using sticky notes to designate where foods will go. Choose the table cloth or table runner and give it a quick wash so it smells fresh and clean.

The day before the party

Arrange your flowers and place them around your home, including a small arrangement in the guest bathroom. Hang any decorations.

Assemble your appetizers and prepare the fruit and vegetable plate so they can simply go right from your refrigerator to table. Make sure the extra food is easily accessible for replenishing the trays and platters.

Prepare the buffet space with the freshly-washed tablecloth or runner and holiday-themed plates and napkins.

Empty the trash at the end of the day so it’s clean and ready for the big day. Tackle any cleaning and tidying that may have popped up since your big clean.

The day of your party

Plan enough time to get yourself ready well before any early arrivals and consider wearing an apron or other covering to protect your clothes during final prep duties.

Set up the bar with plenty of ice and other needed items, such as sliced lemons and limes, olives and cherries. Put out your buffet and add any garnishes and candles for that special holiday touch.

Grab your cleaning wipes and disinfectant deodorizer spray and roam around for any last-minute touch-ups that you see in the kitchen, bathroom or general mingling areas.

Hit play on the music, make yourself a drink, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back.

Thanks to your prep work, your party on the fun, fast track to success!

Product suggestions

Here are some product ideas to help with your preparations!

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