The holidays are a great excuse to get your friends together.
The holidays are a great excuse to get your friends together.

Holiday season is here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we welcome it hand-in-hand with a mind blowing party hosted by…you! Even if it’s not your first time, planning a holiday party can be quite stressful and time-consuming. But here at Slice we want your holiday party to be the talk of the town, so whether you’re going for a small, intimate scale, or maxing out your guest list, we’ve got your back. Read on for our tips on how to host the ideal party…and how to save money while planning it!

Start now. You’ll want to gather all you need – your ideas, decorations, food – sooner rather than later to avoid any last-minute stresses, especially given that December equals incredibly crowded stores and the items you want running out quickly online. Make a list of everything you’ll need and get shopping! Check out Real Simple for a holiday party checklist.

Pick a theme. Red, green, and sparkle is traditional, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, you can also choose to funk up your theme with unexpected yet festive twists – make it a costume party, fundraise for a benefic cause, have a decorating event, plan the party collaboratively… the options are endless! Punchbowl has even more budget-friendly themes you can draw inspiration from. Just make sure you decide with plenty of time, gather all the materials you need, and let your guests know at least a week in advance.

Cater to your guests’ needs. Have guests that absolutely have to be there? Plan your party dates accordingly. Which means: send out your invitations early! And send them beautifully and efficiently – online invitations are the way to go. Evite has free Holiday Party-themed cards, and Paperless Post has adorable free options featuring winter-specific designs. If you choose to go printed, Shutterfly has stylish options you can customize for a relatively low price.

The food. Food – appetizers or full course – can make or break a holiday party. Keeping food simple will make your planning that much easier: stick to salad, a main dish, and holiday-specific dessert for budget-friendliness. Now, what to make? Food52 is the perfect resource for all your culinary needs. You can also download the company’s app for easier access to the crème de la crème of holiday recipes. For appetizer tips, have a look at Style at Home’s site. And keep in mind whether any of your guests has any specific dietary needs: asking about food allergies and the like is considerate to do; avoid purchasing any food that not all of your guests can eat, or buy items specifically for persons with particular requests if possible.

Use apps to stay organized.The Washington Post has a listing of apps you might find useful in planning your party. As always, you can rely on Slice to keep track of packages, notify you of price drops, and much more!

Happy Holidays!