These 11 Sanity-Saving Party Hacks Will Save Your Season


holidaypartyhacks2_andersruff_flickr_holidaypartyhacks_dallasmomsblog-e1479267308872I love friends and family, good food, great wine, and cheesy Christmas tunes. Put it all together and what do you get? Holiday parties! Festivities are part of the season and (at least, to me) one of the best things about the whole thing.  But, the busy bee vibe that comes with hosting a holiday party can invite stress for even the most chill mama. Over time, I’ve discovered a few party hacks that will help anyone keep a calm head when playing Hostess with the Mostess for the evening and now, I’m sharing them with you!

Here are 11 sanity-saving holiday party hacks for parents.

Before the Party

photo: NC Children’s Photographer via Anders Ruff Custom Designs

Send out invites via email or text.
It’s lovely to send beautiful invites via snail mail, but who has the time? Opt to send an evite from Paperless Post, or a text invite from Hobnob. Both companies have beautiful designs, and it’ll take a third of the time.

Have your kids help with the setup.
It’s their home too, so let the kids share in the joy that is holiday celebrations with loved ones. Little helpers can set up chairs, put away last-minute items, make holiday decor, and more!

Empty the dishwasher.
Unload the last clean cycle before your guests arrive. When the party’s over, the last thing you want to do is clean up. There’s nothing better than having a space for all the dirty dishes.

Declare a Kid Zone.
If your party is kid-friendly (which it most likely is), save a space for the tiniest guests. If you’ve got a playroom, great! But, a cozy corner of the house works well, too. Set up crafts and snacks ahead of time. When everyone arrives, it’ll be a great place for kids to warm up to the new environment. Bonus: It’s also a fabulous way to keep all those bodies contained!

During the Party

photo: Anders Ruff Custom Design via flickr

Hire a kid-watcher.
Throwing a big holiday open house, or a party with lots of littles? Consider arming yourself with the assistance of one able-bodied, trust-worthy teenager for a few hours. It’ll give you a chance to enjoy the party, and the kids will have someone to help them when they need it. If you can’t afford to pay for the entire night and feel comfortable asking, consider enlisting your friends or family members to help with the cash— it’ll be worth every penny. 

Don’t play DJ.
There’s a reason why streaming music is so popular. Find an age-and place-appropriate station and let the beats flow— you won’t have to worry about changing your playlist or skipping songs that aren’t meant for nana… or your two-year-old.

Have at least one adult game too.
Can you say ice breaker? White Elephant gift exchanges can be fun, silly, and bring people together.

The Menu

Anders Ruff Christmas Collection 2011 North Polephoto: Anders Ruff Custom Design via flickr

Use signs for the food.
This is more than just chic decor. Signs also allows your guests to know what’s in what, so allergy, gluten-free, dairy-free worries can be left at the door. Which also means all the questions you usually get about the food will be left there, too. 

Make it potluck.
Reach out to your friends and family and ask them to pitch in with dessert or the apps, or make it BYOB. It takes the stress off prepping and providing tons food, and puts it where it belongs— cleaning the house!

Keep cookie icing contained.
You love cookies. You do not love the mess left over after decorating. Solve that problem with plastic condiment squeeze bottles. You might still have a few sticky fingers, but this clever hack will keep the sugar spread to a minimum.

Serve dessert in clear plastic cups.
Not only does it look cute, but serving up individual portions of dessert helps to keep crumbs at a minimum and make clean up a breeze. Mousse, ice cream, cakes and parfaits are all good choices.

Do you have holiday party hacks? Let us in on the secret in a comment below!


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