6 Gotta-Do’s and Nice-to-Do’s Before Your Christmas Party
You’re supposed to be jingle-bell jolly this time of year. But as a Christmas party host you usually end up feeling overwhelmed. Aren’t you over it? Leticia Pfeiffer, professional organizing stylist and founder of Styled & Organized, breaks down the tasks you can’t avoid and the ones you can put off until never.
1. You Gotta … Clean and Light the Front Porch and Walkway
Slipping hazards take priority. Remove fallen leaves or snow. Replace outdoor light bulbs, if necessary.
It would be nice to … place seasonal potted pants and a festive wreath and garland on your porch to make guests feel welcome.
2. You Gotta … Plan Your Coat and Bag Check
Where will all your guests’ stuff go? You could purchase an organizer with hooks to hang over a closet door, or simply store their things in another bedroom. On party day, ask a friend to help tackle this task so you can focus on greeting guests.
It would be nice to … find a bright, cheerful storage container for hostess gifts and set it near the door.
3. You Gotta … Wipe Down the Bathroom and Kitchen
Wet areas need extra attention. Whip out your cleaning product arsenal, and wipe down countertops, surfaces, and clean toilets a week before the event. Do daily touch-ups to maintain the sparkle. Keep all-purpose wipes handy to clean up spills during the party.
It would be nice to … place a stack of freshly laundered hand towels on the bathroom counter, and ask one of your neatnik friends to eyeball the area periodically.
4. You Gotta…Put Out an Attractive Trash Can
Help cut down on post-party cleanup by positioning a nice-looking garbage can in a centrally located spot. Pfeiffer often places hers in or near the breakfast nook—not in the walkway. “That area always gets clogged up,” she says.
It would be nice to … pick up an intelligent waste basket with separate receptacles for recyclables, food, and trash.
5. You Gotta … Do Dinnerware Inventory
Once you have a final head count, make sure you have enough plates, glasses, and silverware for each course.
It would be nice to … do another inventory count after the party, just in case some of your utensils landed accidentally in the trash.
6. You Gotta … Plan Your Traffic Flow
For a buffet-style meal, place plates and napkins where you want guests to begin. Put the beverage station in a separate location to prevent logjams. If you’re doing place settings, dress your table the night before, so you’re not rushing in the morning.
It would be nice to … write each guest’s name on a label next to their place setting. And with less on your to-do list, you might actually have time for this one.