Last Minute Holiday Party Planning Tips

Happy Holidays everyone and to all my Christmas lovers —

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Today I wanted to share a quick post of my TOP 5 LAST MINUTE party planning tips. As I get older, I realize that I really want to get more into entertaining. Last year I hosted my first holiday party, Ugly Christmas Sweater theme. This year I’ll be celebrating my friends 30th birthday and everyone has such hectic schedules so we’ll hang out then. Still in all — let’s get to the tips!

As always, be sure to click the highlighted links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

With just two days to Christmas I hosted my first holiday party on December 23rd. The party was initially set for 7pm, but with the torrential rain in the area there was lots of traffic so my guests didn’t arrive until around 8pm which was fine. I had a hour to cook the meat for my tacos and finish getting my table together. Thanks to the help of my best friend, by the time the rest of my guests arrived, everything was ready to go.

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My tablescape was nothing fancy, but I am quite the stickler for symmetry. I didn’t grab a picture of the table before the soda was added, but the plates have cups with my guests names on them and then in front of the ceramic tree was my impromptu taco bar. The only thing I would’ve liked to change about this was to have a tier system of some sort, but using what I had, I liked the way it turned out.

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Then there was my dessert table.There were brownies, crumb cake, and ugly sweater cookies. As for drinks there was hot cocoa and rum chat along with fireball. My friends were great at chipping in and bringing something. I was too full from the tacos so I’ll be enjoying the desserts later on.

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I love how the sweater cookies turned out even though my friend didn’t add frosting. The initial plan was to decorate the cookies together to see who’d make the best design, but she decorated them which was fine.

With an evening party and my guests arrive an hour past what was scheduled, I was concerned as to what we’d actually be doing. At first I was putting the finishing touches to the tacos then we ended up sitting around and talking for a few hours. It was great. Good food, great convo, and great people. We rolled from one topic to the next and I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends.

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Cheers to my first holiday party and cheers to many more to come.My goal next year is to make a Steelers themed ugly sweater. Click the links below for my party planning process and the details to my hideous sweater. Merry Christmas!

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater

Today is the official day of my Ugly Sweater Christmas party and I’ve been blogging my entire process. Click the links below for all that fun stuff:

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Holiday Party Planning | 1 Week Before

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My Ugly Sweater Christmas party is officially 1 week away and based off my 2 weeks before planning, I’ve done nothing. I came down with a horrible sinus infection so all the deep cleaning I wanted to get done, didn’t. So from last week I did finalize my menu, the sweet treats, my photo booth ideas with printable props, and how I want to set everything up in my dining/living rooms. Check out my party planning Pinterest board HERE.

Being that I didn’t get any cleaning done last week, cleaning is at the top of my list before my party next Wednesday. My bathroom, downstairs, and guest room are 3 zones that need quick yet efficient cleans. Last weekend would have been the perfect weekend for deep cleaning since I had nothing planned, but I plan to get it all done this weekend despite my busy schedule.

Aside from needing to clean, I need to get my tablescape together, buy materials for my DIY photo booth, and make the grocery list for my menu. I’ve decided to do a taco bar which I’ll also have along with my dessert table and a hot cocoa bar. Aside from tacos I may add wings. Not completely sure yet.

71GSPSbYPjL._SL1000_My friend found a sweater cookie cutter in the Target Dollar spot, excuse me, Bulls Eye Playground. Since it’s an ugly sweater Christmas party it’ll be fun to see who makes the ugliest/cutest cookie. Aside from decorating cookies I’m still working on what else we’ll be doing. It’s more fun to just let the night flow. There is a game that I’d like to hunt down the game Teletsrations which simply put is the telephone game except with pictures.

For my DIY photo booth I’ve found some printables that I plan on cutting out with construction paper and then gluing them on foam to make them more substantial. For the photo booth itself I wanted to create a giant polaroid which I plan to achieve with just a regular poster board and an exacto knife. As for other pictures, I’m not sure what I’ll use for a backdrop just yet.

As for all the DIYs and decor, I will be sharing all of that next week leading up to my party. I’m excited to have all my favorite ladies together for a fun night. All in all I still have quite a bit to get done, but it’ll get done one way or another.

Holiday Party Planning | 2 Weeks Before

Christmas is quickly approaching and I am hosting a girls night on the 23rd and on the 24th my typical Christmas Eve dinner with my family. On Christmas it’s usually a day of sleeping in and lounging around and a trip to the movies later on. This year I’m thinking of seeing either Concussion or Creed. 

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Photo from Paperless Post

Back to my party planning. I sent out invitations in a group text, simply because it’s easier, but I used the website paperlesspost.com. The website offered an array of free templates to choose from and the one I chose fit perfectly with the theme I’m going for. The website was easy to maneuver and you do have to create the invitation from your computer along with signing up on the website.Prior to sending out invites I definitely checked with all those I planned to invite to see if the date would work for everyone.

Next was for me to create a master list of everything I wanted to get done around my house prior to the party and I broke my timetable into four increments: 2 weeks, 1 week, day before, and last minute. I’ll be sharing my entire process here of course. I highly recommend writing down what it is you want down opposed to your phone. Having it on paper and physically checking it off assures that you’ll get it done. I have all of my party planning in my Erin Condren notebook, but you can write it anywhere.

With my party being on a Wednesday my cleaning would get done on the weekend. My entire downstairs will be deep cleaned and in deep cleaning now by next week I will still clean, but just not a deep clean. A deep clean takes more time and with that clean you simply tackle the areas you often avoid. I’ve zoned off how I plan to deep clean. I know that my kitchen will be an entire day and my bathroom will take a couple hours. Don’t tire yourself out, find a playlist to keep you moving, and get it done.

I’ve also created a Pinterest board of all the ideas I may want to use from easy appetizers to decorations, games, a DIY photo booth, and more. Unlike the list I mentioned above, Pinterest is easy to use and you can create as many boards as you want and pin on the go. In adding appetizers I’ve began to create a menu and I’ll narrow it down in my next post, one week before the party.

Lastly, keep in mind a BUDGET! My party will be roughly 4 hours and I just want to enjoy time with my favorite girls with good food, wine, and sweet treats. Regardless of how many people you’re having make use of what you already have and don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish. For my party I’ll be covering the appetizers which I think is easier so that there’s more options and my guests have offered to bring the sweet treats.

Two weeks out I’m really just focused on cleaning. Next week I’ll be sharing my menu and any DIYs. Until next time…