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The holiday season can easily be the most stressful one of the year. Not only do you have to shop for a bunch of people and dodge invasive personal questions about marriage from family, sometimes you may inexplicably decide to add to the craziness by hosting a holiday party. But while the aforementioned reasons should stress you out, hosting a party shouldn’t.
Hosting a sensational seasonal banger is actually a highlight of my Christmas season, and I’ve been told by others I’m not too bad at it. So as the (self) appointed King of Christmas bangers, I’d like to give you a few tips to help make sure your party can take it to the next level.
As much as I believe you should cherish Thanksgiving, you need to get the invites out early. With everyone’s busy schedules, some friends possibly requiring babysitters, and others needing to plan with their spouses, people need to be able to put time aside for this. It’s ideal to give people at least a month’s notice for an event like this. In our postgrad days with so many friends spread out around the country and everyone caught up in the rat race of life, sometimes a well-planned holiday party is the one chance you get to see all of the great people in your life together, so make the most of it. But, even if you were late on the planning part this year you can still make the most of any party by following the rest of these simple guidelines.
Have A Great Food Spread
At a party with lots of drinking, one of the worst things you can do is not have enough food. Good food will keep your friend Greg from blacking out and Greg’s wife happy because she loved the crab dip. And well, he didn’t black out. Last year’s spread included a ham, filet roasts, and a few other wonderful dishes like meatballs, a Chick-Fil A nugget tray, and pepperoni rolls brought by guests.
Pro Tip: If you’re on a true millennial budget, a stack of pizzas or fast food will do just fine. You can even ask a few of your culinary inclined friends to bring a dish, just make sure that whatever you make/buy is good and there’s plenty of it.
Alcohol, the proverbial life blood of any party. It’s the juice that will make you feel loose and shake your caboose. I suggest having a solid flow of beer, wine, or a light holiday cocktail to start your party, and as the night goes on, slowly begin to dial up the party tone. Keep the 100 proof jello-shot tree formation your buddy Woodsy brought in the fridge until people have a good base of the awesome food you’ll have out. If you do it just right, you’ll see an amazing progression of people sipping beer to straight chugging peppermint-infused Tito’s vodka with a Go-Pro attached without anybody puking or pissing their pants until they’re in an Uber or riding home with a DD.
Decorate Your Pad
Set the festive tone to your soirée and decorate your pad. Throw some garland on the rails, Christmas lights on the deck, and a nice tree in the living room. If you want to take the festive cheer to the max, take some wrapping paper and put it up on an accent wall. It makes for a great party photo booth and you’ll enjoy seeing all those pictures you don’t remember taking on your phone the next day. If you don’t decorate for your holiday party it’s just a random house party in December, and that’s just not going to be as much fun.
Dress For The Occasion
If you’re going to decorate your house, you might as well have the people coming get in on the festivities too. Tell everyone to bust out their sweaters, Santa suits, or festive fancy threads. As the host, I add a little incentive for my guests by giving away some prizes for the best-dressed guy, girl, and couple. If you really rocked the festive wear at my party, you’ll know, partially because the judging is almost too similar to a wet t-shirt contest where all the guests cheer for the winner. That, and if you do win, you’ll be leaving with an extra sixer, bottle of wine, or drink set. Don’t be the scrooge who’s too cool to show some the holiday spirit. Nobody likes that person.
Special shout out to all my friends in the tribe who come rocking the Star Of David Hanukkah sweaters.
Give Some Gifts
I love me some gift exchanges. So far per the tradition, we always do a standard Yankee Swap.
Except you’ll have to use your imagination and replace that oven mitt and teapot with a set of whiskey stones from Man Outfitters and a bottle of Jameson to get an idea what it should be like. Oh, and that Jameson. It’s more than likely than not it’ll be opened (and finished) shortly after all the gift giving has died down.
If a Yankee Swap isn’t quite your group’s thing, as a host, you can still give your guests the gift of a fully stocked supply of Tums, Advil, and Pepto. They’ll thank you in the morning.
Make The Aux Cord Catch Fire
Okay, so far we have great food, good drinks, holiday gear, and festive cheer. Even if you check all of those things off the list, if you don’t have a great Christmas playlist, the party just won’t be as good. So you had better believe Christmas In Hollis by Run DMC, Jimmy Buffett’s Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas will be pumped through the speakers at some point.
Get Home Safe
Offer up the spare room, couch, and the inflatable mattress for the people who want to stay the night. However, as we all know not everyone will be able to. For the guests that aren’t staying, make sure they get home safe. The last thing anyone wants for Christmas is to get on the naughty list for a DUI. If you’re drinking this holiday season, do me and literally anyone on the road a favor, and don’t drive.
For those of you planning on rocking around the Christmas tree this year, take what you will from this list and hopefully you’ll have a most excellent holiday banger as well.
Oh and one more thing: Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. .
Image via YouTube