Through the month of December, I'm doing a series focusing on the way other bloggers and myself celebrate the holidays. Today I'm featuring Jenni, who blogs at A Well Crafted Party, an awesome party blog full of all sorts of wonderful ideas on how to throw fabulous parties. Jenni's attention to detail is so fun! I met Jenni through the Portland Bloggers meetups and Nate and I have loved getting to know her husband, baby boy, and her!
Hi! My name is Jenni and I blog over at A Well Crafted Party. I was lucky enough to meet Susannah through the Portland Bloggers group and was flattered that she asked me to guest post. Thanks Susannah for having me here for your 12 days of Christmas post series!
One of my absolute favorite things about the holidays is that it is the season of parties! I'm a bit of a party fiend... events, social gatherings, get-togethers, shin-digs... you name it, I like it! The holidays bring with it so many excuses for getting together with friends and family to celebrate.
Unfortunately, sometimes the stress of holiday events can make them not as enjoyable as they can be. Money, time, attire, etiquette can all be stress factors in the holiday bustle. After years of holiday entertaining and party-attending I've gathered together a few tips on how I handle the stress that comes along with attending holiday events. When I keep the following tips in mind then I am usually pretty stress free for an evening of fun.
Whether you are getting together for a Thanksgiving meal, a holiday cocktail party, work gathering, or New Year's Eve bash these few holiday party tips can help make attending a holiday event more enjoyable!
Tips for Attending a Holiday Party
1. Be a good guest— Seems simple enough... but, party etiquette has changed over the years and some might even say that it is overall lost on most people. Some parts of party etiquette's past can stay in the past. But, abiding by certain tried-and-true traditions will make you stand out as an awesome guest and make people want to return the favor when you are the host.
- RSVP— Let your host know if you are coming as soon as you know. Try your best to not leave your host waiting til the day of to know whether or not they'll see your shining face. Also, if for some reason your plans change and you cannot attend a party, give plenty of notice that you will not be attending. Hosts put a lot of time and effort into even the simplest parties, reward the effort with the curtsey of a response.
- Bring something— A hostess gift is a gesture that will always be appreciated by any host. Hostess gifts needn't be expensive or elaborate. (Check out my Pinterest board for easy hostess gift ideas.) And, if you are asked to bring something (potluck style, BYOB, etc) then a gift isn't necessary, but cute packaging can go a long way in guest gold stars! I often like to bring a bottle of wine to potluck style events and add a cute tag thanking my host.
- Mingle— This is the hardest one for me, and many others out there. Help out your host by stepping out of your comfort zone and talking to new people. That doesn't mean you have to ignore everyone you know at the party... just make a point to include others in the conversation. It will go a long way in making everyone's holiday party experience more enjoyable, even yours!
- Participate— Sometimes we do silly things at parties like wearing silly hats or playing games. I'm a big fan of participating in the party.... I found that I have more fun if I just give in and be a little silly with everyone else.
2. Dress to impress— I don't mean that you need to pull out the heels every holiday party. I'm a huge fan of tacky sweater parties as well as the poshest of holiday cocktail events. However, taking a small amount of time and effort in how you look will help make you feel better at the holiday event. It is never a bad thing to feel extra good looking when cameras are near by! Get into the spirit by pulling out your favorite pieces in your closet, getting into the holiday spirit, and dressing up a tad for your next holiday event. Ways to dress up your attire for a holiday party:
- Wear something you feel great in. No... not your sweats. Wear something that you feel fabulous in. Whether it be your favorite pair of jeans or a brand new dress.... when you feel good, you look good.
- Try to dress for the occasion. Look at the invite for clues as to what to wear to your event. Cocktail attire means that you'll want to keep the jeans in the closet and gives you an excuse to pull out the holiday sparkle. And, deciding not to wear a tacky sweater to a tacky sweater party only makes you look like you don't want to participate. So, hit the goodwill and get a little crazy for the evening. You'll have more fun when you feel like you fit in rather than if you stick out like a sore thumb.
- Do you hair/makeup... this doesn't mean you have to pull out the curling iron and the mascara. But, it does mean to take a look in the mirror before leaving the house. :) The little extra effort will pay off!
- Don't stress about it.... Okay, I know I just wrote out all of this stuff saying to pay attention to the way you look, but I only mean this as a way to help make your holidays LESS stressful. I found that when I feel good about the way I look then I have more fun. The dress doesn't have to be perfect. The zit that came over night will not ruin the evening.
3. Don't over do it— Holiday parties are never wanting in the sweets area! While I am 100% for enjoying the holiday party food and drinks, it is a good idea to be mindful of what you are ingesting. This is especially important when alcohol is involved... no one likes a sloppy, loud guest. My personal holiday party eating/drinking rules that I try to abide by are:
- Drink one glass of water between every specialty drink (alcoholic or non). This is purely to keep myself hydrated and in more control about what is going into my body. If I am drinking alcohol this helps keep me from drinking too much and having a headache the next day. If I am not drinking alcohol then it keeps me from ingesting quite as many calories as I could have! No one enjoys a post holiday party bloat!
- Eat veggies first! Whether there are bite sized appetizers or a full meal I try to eat my veggies first and then the heavier items.
- Don't pile. I try to keep myself from piling things on plates. If I am still hungry or wanting to try something else I can always get more later.
- One dessert. This is the hardest for me because I have a crazy sweet tooth. But, I try to pick the one dessert I want the most and eat only that. If my hubby is there then we both get something different and trade bites.
Thank you Susannah for letting me share these tips today! If you want to read more of my holiday tips head on over to A Well Crafted Party to see my Tips for Hosting a Holiday Party!