(BPT) - The pressure to host the perfect party can take all the joy out of what is supposed to be a fun and memorable occasion with friends and family. But holiday entertaining doesn't have to equal stress. By planning ahead and simplifying your party plans, you can host a fun, festive get-together that you'll remember for holidays to come.
Take the headache out of entertaining this season with tips to make your holiday gathering simple and satisfying.
1. Get your deep cleaning done the week before your party. Make a list of the labor-intensive housework and get the big stuff out of the way so you can focus on the party's finishing touches.
2. Forego paper invitations. Use electronic invites or create an event page on Facebook. It's free and easy, and makes RVSPing a mere click of a button for your guests. Online invitation sites like eVite, Pingg and Cocodot offer plenty of beautiful, free and customizable invitation options.
3. Forget elaborate dishes and desserts. Fondue is the easiest way to create an instant, no-fuss party. Try Velata - a simple, new way to enjoy fondue. Velata fondue warmers use a 25-watt bulb inside a decorative warmer to keep Velata premium Belgian chocolate at the perfect temperature with no stirring, messy fountain or open flame. Simply buy some dippables (or ask your guests to bring their favorites such as marshmallows or pretzels), melt Velata chocolate in the microwave, pour it into the warmer dish and gather around the table.
4. Borrow some decoration inspiration. A few simple and tasteful centerpieces are all it takes to make your party look pulled together and chic. Pinterest provides a wealth of decor ideas for prospective party hosts. Or use what you already have. Glass jars filled with colorful ornaments or pinecones, beautiful holiday cards on display, or even an old wreath made fresh with ribbon or glitter can look terrific in the time it takes to tie a bow.
5. Delegate and collaborate. Designate a DJ, put someone in charge of drinks, station a friend near the door and consider paying high school students to be your clean-up crew. Delegating tasks takes weight off your shoulders, makes others feel needed and gives you a chance to enjoy your party.
6. Roll with the punches. Drinks will be spilled. Guests will show up early. But it's not about perfection. Have fun, make new memories and, above all, celebrate the season with people you love.