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Holiday Party Mistakes

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy today with friends, family, good food, good company and really good alcohol (Just kidding about the alcohol) or if you are drinking here is a PSA: Don’t drink and drive and have a wonderful time.

I have decided that I would extend #blogmas until December 31st. I have been having so much fun and I enjoy seeing you all enjoying my #blogmas posts (In a non-creepy way). To catch up on the first 24 days of #blogmas all the links are provided in the #blogmas section

Today’s post is a fun little post that is very helpful for anyone that is thinking or is having a New Year’s Eve party. I wish these tips were around back in my party-throwing days. I hope these tips help you as much as I wished they helped me (I didn’t know about these tips back then).

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 25! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 22 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-24

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6 Blogmas Day 7 Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10 Blogmas Day 11 Blogmas Day 12 Blogmas Day 13 Blogmas Day 14  Blogmas Day 15  Blogmas Day 16 Blogmas Day 17 Blogmas Day 18  Blogmas Day 19 Blogmas Day 20 Blogmas Day 21 Blogmas Day 22 Blogmas Day 23 Blogmas Day 24

Getting a reservation at your favorite restaurant during the time-crunched weeks around Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas isn’t easy. Neither is ponying up the triple-digit (or more!) price tag of dinner—or the even higher cost of securing a private space. So hosting at home is the perfect solution, right? You bet, as long as you avoid these common holiday party mistakes along the way.

You forget to schedule in advance

Weekly planner with pen and camera

In today’s crazy world of calendars in the cloud and emails on your wrist, we all seem to be so busy and stretched so thin. When planning for any event, I like to give a six-week runway. By that, I mean invitations and all event planning would ideally begin six weeks before the gathering (If you have the time).

Once you’ve distributed the initial invitation via Paperless Postor Evite, set a calendar event to ping attendees with reminders three weeks out (“get excited!”) and one week out (“don’t forget…”) to keep things top of mind.

You skip the to-do list

Shopping list

Streamline the pre-event prep and avoid forgetting any important details by creating a to-do list:

  • Items to purchase (groceries, flowers)
  • Items that need to be dug out of storage or borrowed (vases, extra chairs)
  • Items to clean (bathrooms, silverware)
  • Items to accomplish before guests arrive (lighting candles, whipping the cream)

You Dismiss The Easiest Decorations

Holiday table set-up

While you’re digging out the “musts” from storage, keep your eyes peeled for easy, affordable accents. That’s right: You DON’T need to drop $30+ per bouquet to dress up your space. Small details like a bowl full of ornaments or vase stuffed full of eucalyptus can make a big impact.

Cut down on prep time and save money by choosing candles in lieu of a lot of flowers. They take less time to arrange and display as decor but they still make a splash.

You discount the benefits of online shopping

Party favors

Stop schlepping bags around town and start hitting the easy “buy now” button on your laptop.

From invitations to favors or custom pillows for the party, shopping online cuts back on time in traffic and allows for easy price comparisons. I love ordering custom party details from companies like Shutterfly. I’m also a big fan of Amazon Prime since purchases usually arrive on my doorstep within 48 hours.

You Don’t Plan Ahead For Drop-in Guests

Unexpected guests

A friend of a friend who just got dumped needs a pick-me-up. A new Tinder plus-one. A random neighbor who sees the crowds piling in. An unexpected guest is almost par for the course these days, so plan ahead for a couple extra servings of everything just in case.

You Run Out Of Spirits


Happy hour can turn less-than-happy in a hurry if your bar runs dry.

You know your crowd better than anyone. However, in the events world, It’s estimated half a bottle of wine per person at a sit-down dinner and one cocktail per person per hour at less formal affairs. Calculate accordingly based on your menu and the time frame of your party.

You Forget The Bubbly


If a party is thrown during the holidays and there isn’t sparkling wine involved, is it really a party?  Plus, since it’s fairly light on the alcohol-per-serving scale (generally about 12 percent, compared to 22 percent in a Long Island Iced Tea), it’s a smart choice to bring a just-right level of cheer.

You Don’t Cook Enough Food

Antipasto plate

Pound for pound, people can throw down come dinnertime.

Estimate that each adult will consume one pound of food each,” Perotti says. For bone-in proteins, such as turkey, spiral ham, or pork crown roast, purchase 1 ½ pound per person to allow for ample portions because the bones take up some of the weight.

You Attempt A New Recipe

New recipe

Practice, practice, practice. It can be tempting to tear out that trendy recipe from the latest glossy food magazine, but stick to tried-and-true options for larger gatherings to keep #kitchenfails to a minimum. Practice these Pinterest favorites, then add your winners to the menu.

You Forget To Ask About Dietary Restrictions

Friends seated around table

About one in five people have a food allergy or intolerance. Ensure there are eats for everyone by including a simple questionnaire with the RSVP. Feel free to keep it light-hearted so it doesn’t sound like you’re bothered by their bill of fare.

Try something like: I love tailoring the menu to your taste! So check the box if you’re steering clear of…

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Anything that comes from an animal”

You Rush

Woman talking at party

Don’t go from 0 to 100 miles per hour with your party pace.

I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family, so maximizing catch-up time is crucial. I love having about an hour or so of cocktails and appetizers at the beginning to give everyone plenty of time to get in from the cold, get comfortable with the mix of guests, and begin to let their hair down.

You Ignore The Vibe For The Seating Arrangements

Holiday place cards

The way you set the spread sets the pace for the formality level of your feast. For a less formal, family-style meal, don’t assign seats, but let it be organic.

You Ignore The Aroma

Pumpkin spice latte

Candles trigger a cozy vibe, but their aroma usually stays corralled within a room or two. Pipe seasonal scents throughout your whole home (in an all-natural, affordable way) by filling a stock pot with water and these kitchen staples:

Mint Candy: Vanilla beans + peppermint essential oil
Apple Pie: Apples + cinnamon sticks + lemons
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Vanilla beans + pumpkin pie spice + espresso powder
Fresh and Festive: Rosemary + cranberries + orange

You don’t know your limits

Woman stressed


So what if your table decor doesn’t look Martha Stewart–fancy or your turkey wouldn’t fit the classic Norman Rockwell scene. Keep the end goal in mind.

Remember that entertaining is just that: entertainment. You should enjoy it as much as your guests. Don’t take on more than you can, and do what feels authentic. Your friends and family will be impressed with whatever you plan. And if they aren’t, then don’t invite them back! Kidding. Kind of.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

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Hello, my name Is Amanda and I'm the woman behind AmandaExplainsIt. I'm a Free Spirit, coffee sipping blogger and I embrace all of the messy parts of life.I'm a mommy of two precious doggies and an advocate for food allergies, animals, and nutrition In real life. I've always loved writing and writing a blog fulfills that. I'm all about spirituality and going with the flow of things. I'm new to the beauty world and I'm excited to share what I learn along the way. Come back often because I post often and I post things related to but not limited to Beauty Reviews, Product Reviews, Spirituality, Nutrition and Food Allergies, and Gluten-Free Recipes. If you like what you read let's be friends. ~XOXO A.


2018-12-25 at 2:18 pm

Great advice! I’ve made a few of those mistakes before…

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