12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 1 ~ Party Planning

Author: Dayle Sheehan | | Categories: 12 Days of Christmas , calgary , decorating , Décor , Interior Design , Interior Design Firm , Interior Designer , lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas ~ Day 1 ~ Party Planning



If you are new to following me or reading my blog this is my fifth year writing a 12 Days of Christmas Blog Series. Everyday for 12 Days I will talk about all things Christmas! My goal is to help make your Christmas as seamless as possible. Today I'm sharing all of my party planning tips and tricks! 


I LOVE a party! I live to plan, plan, plan my next gathering! This year I am hosting a holiday party for friends and family. Today I want to start off with my party planning essentials! 


Make a List and Check It Twice! 

Hosting a lot of people in your home for a variety of occasions requires planning! I ALWAYS start with a clear list and a game plan! 



Stock Up

I don't have enough service-ware for 30 guests so I have sourced the cutest disposable options I could find! The best part is these plastic glasses are reusable!

***Click photos for product links***





The Best Part! I like little (or BIG) hints of Christmas all over the house.


Setting the Scene ~ The calm before the party storm!


The Main Event 



Tree's Everywhere


Front + Center




Let's Eat! 

I LOVE planning a party menu and I like to make sure it actually gets eaten! To do this you need to set your food-floor plan up with 'flow'. I always have a central food area but I like to place food on all of the tables and gathering areas throughout the main parts of the home. 


Put food where people can sit and snack.


Have a central spot for food that's warm or messy!


Homemade vs Catered ~ Do Both!

I love making appetizers so I don't mind making most of the food but when I'm having a larger crowd I will hire someone to provide the more finicky foods like chartcuterie boards, crudites platters and the dessert trays. This year I hired Brie & Banquet to help me out and they did a BEAUTIFUL job!


Plate it Pretty

With the food I make myself I try to keep it really simple but I always plate everything really beautifully so that it takes the buffet style up a notch!



Drinks for Everyone! 

Always have a nice variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. I often do a signature drink to avoid needing a full bar set up but when I am offering a full bar I like to have liquor, beer, wine, cider, champagne, water, coffee, punch and soda options for guests.  

For flow and practicality, have a central place for all of the drinks and drink-ware to be easily accessed. Often you will offer your guests the first drink but they will be happy to reload their drinks when they're ready so if everything they need is available it is less work mid party!


Don't forget the coffee! 


Last but not least... Dessert!

My personal favourite part of any party is the sweet ending! 

This years dessert menu included chocolate layer cake, homemade brownies, homemade butter tarts, homemade shortbread all courtesy of my mother in-law and her sis (Thank you Faye & Darlene!). I also had Brie & Banquet make the most beautiful and delicious chocolate platter you've ever laid eyes on! I like to place goodies all over the party areas for people to help themselves as they visit.



Throwing a party can be very stressful and I know it does NOT bring everyone the happiness it brings me! I hope that if you are hosting this year you will see through the hard work and know that your guests truly appreciate it. You are the host of memories and events that your family will remember forever! Don't forget to have fun and find the joy in it!


12 Days of Christmas - Day 1 - Party Planning




Thank you for joining me for Day 1 of my 12 Days of Christmas blog series! I will be back for the next 12 Days talking about everything from recipes to gift guides to caring for yourself over the holidays! You following along and reading everyday means the world to me so THANK YOU!