It’s that time of year again, and you want to get everyone together for festive fun! Hosting a party can bring about a great deal of stress. Sooooo many things to plan, so much to buy and so many people to invite. You may find this true for any kind of party, but it seems to be particularly true for a party thrown around the holidays. For some reason, the holidays are a time when parties aspire to be a little grander; they need to have tastier food, and more elegant alcohol! Lets face it, really,… when you plan a party you want YOUR party to be the one that guest remember for a long time and talk about often! You want your party to be the BEST!
While a holiday party is something you will likely want to throw well (hoping to impress your friends, your relatives, and your next door neighbor whose front lawn animatronics nativity scene makes your decorations look inferior), you will also want to save some room on your credit cards for all your holiday shopping. Throwing a great party doesn’t have to drain your bank account. There are ways to have a party that is both festive and frugal. Because alcohol is generally one of the priciest party expenses, buying wisely is the first step in throwing a party that will leave both your social circle and your children still talking to you.
Have a Variety
Some people are under the impression that hosting a party involves purchasing the most expensive wine they can find, wine that would impress even the most seasoned connoisseur. However, when it comes down to it, the price of wine is not nearly as important as the variety.
Holiday parties typically consist of a large spread of food. From the pâté to the cheese balls, the months of November and December are like a giant buffet. Because of this, it’s important to cover your bases and purchase wine that is adaptable, wine that all types of food consider easy to get along with. The simplest way to do this is to cover all your bases by purchasing both red wine and white wine.
For red wine, Merlots, Shiraz, and Cabernets are all good choices, with white wine’s best bet being Chardonnay, though a nice Alsatian Riesling is also a great choice. I personally prefer a Rriesling. While there are certain vintages that are expensive, it’s relatively easy to find bottles that aren’t extremely high-priced. With some searching, or asking the clerk at the local liquor store for help, you can buy red and white wines that won’t take away your ability to go holiday shopping, leaving you, ultimately, to holiday shoplift instead.
When choosing a wine to serve at a party, White Zinfandel seems to be an extremely popular choice. This is simply because people drink it up. A chilled beverage, White Zinfandel is light, sweet, and low in alcohol content, which makes it a popular choice for folks who are driving. One of the least inexpensive, with many bottles costing around five dollars, White Zinfandel is a preferred choice of many party hosts everywhere, why I have no idea? Honestly, it’s not at all my first choice, but when hosting a party you must put your needs aside and buy what your guests will want to drink. I call this a ‘safe zone’ in wines. It’s the ‘you can’t go wrong’ wine.
Take People Up on Their Offers
What are you serving? Who decides what the menu will be? Are you expected to do it all by yourself? Generally it is etiquette for those attending a party to offer to bring something – a casserole, a plate of cookies, a spinach dip. While you may have trouble accepting this gesture, thinking that you should be the one to generate all the party goods, keep in mind that many people who offer to bring something typically really want to, so say YES!
People enjoy showing their gratitude. When they are able to contribute to a party, they feel as if they are given the opportunity to do just that. If a person asks you if they can bring anything, and you are stressing over the drink selection, simply request that they bring a bottle of wine. This not only assures that they will bring something they enjoy, but it also allows you to subtly shrug your shoulders and point your finger in their direction if others do not like it. That, after all, is what friends are for.
Holiday parties can be hard to plan, but with the above tips you should at least have the wine list taken care of, leaving you free to worry about food and décor instead. Holidays are already stressful, so lighten up and enjoy your coworkers, family or friends this time of year! Worried about the decorations? Many of us have kids that want to assist us in decorating, and generally my kids used to love helping out…but we don’t want our children to feel bad about not being able to attend this ‘adult party’ so get them involved so that they feel they really took part in this fun event. My advice…let them make cool decorations. All kids love to make and cut out snowflakes, let them create a winter wonderland for you! They’ll love it and it will give your place a fun holiday appeal!