Guests may not be comfortable enough in your house to go hunting around, so make sure everything is in plain sight. So you’re having a holiday party, and you want it to be perfect. A bunch of people all together in a little room = lots and lots of body heat. Don’t expect that your guests will know to help themselves to the beer in the fridge, or that they’ll be able to find those cookies tucked away in the back of the kitchen. 3. Serving food and drink that take a ton of prep on the day of. 7. If you have your heart set on on serving handcrafted cocktails at your party, hire a bartender (or enlist a friend to do the honors) — otherwise you’ll spend your whole party mixing and shaking, secretly resenting your guests for having such a good time. Leaving your guests to introduce themselves. Thinking you have to provide seating for everyone. Your guests feel the same way. Not thinking about flow. Hosting a party is more than a one-person job. (And chances are your friends will be happy to help.)
9. Especially if you’ve invited friends who don’t know anyone else at the party, don’t just welcome them and put a cocktail in their hand and then leave them on their own. (Image credits: Danielle Tsi) Generally everyone is going to walk in the door and then go straight for the food and drink, so make sure there’s a clear path to the goodies. You don’t want to wind up with a whole roomful of people, awkwardly standing around a bunch of unused chairs. 1. Pitcher drinks will make your guests just as happy, and allow you to enjoy yourself too. Which party would you rather go to — an event with perfect decorations, food, and drink, with a stressed-out, frazzled host, or a less closeup-worthy event where the hostess is relaxed and having a good time with her guests? The same goes for food that requires elaborate preparation — opt for something simpler, or even better, supplement with some appetizers from the frozen food section. 5. Forgetting to relax and enjoy yourself. Expecting guests to help themselves to food and drink. 2. If you enlist help — a spouse, a family member, a close friend — you’ll be able to spend the first few minutes of your party greeting your guests, and not running around in the kitchen while they awkwardly stand about. 4. Take a look at this list — and make sure to avoid these nine mistakes that even the most well-intentioned hosts and hostesses make. Not having a plan for music.You don’t have to hire a band or come up with the World’s Most Creative Playlist — but you do need something playing when guests arrive. 6.