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Throwing a Last-minute Holiday Party

You thought it’d be fun to invite 5 or 6 friends over for some light hors d’oeuvres, a few drinks, and to hang out during the holidays. So you sent out an email to the select few.

Unfortunately, you begin getting emails and texts from other folks you know informing you they’ll be coming as well with a friend or two (if it’s okay). Now your quaint little get together has turned into a full-fledged party. What do you do?

Well, you can either ‘come down’ with a nasty case of H1N1, or you can go ahead with your party plans.

The New Holiday Party Plan

Since a few other friends have invited themselves (and maybe another guest), you’ll need to change the type of party you’re giving. Below are some tips on how to proceed with breaking your original budget.

The Hors d’Oeuvres Potluck

Tell your guests to each bring a finger food. To make it more fun, assign guests a region of the U.S. or another country and tell them to find a new and interesting treat to bring. If each person prepares enough to feed 5 -10 people you should have more than enough to eat.

Having each guest present their dish and a bit of info about it will also serve as a great icebreaker to get the conversation rolling for the evening.

The Party Drinks

If your party is 10 or more guests, ask for help in providing alcoholic beverages (if you intend to serve them). You should provide the names of particular liquor brands or wineries to make sure your cocktails or wines suit your menu or theme. If you’re not a connoisseur, a price range for wines and spirits should suffice as well.

Serve lots of sparkling water, coffee, or tea too. Liquids fill you up, so your guests will eat less and those light refreshments will go farther.

(*Note: No, it’s not impolite to ask guests to help supplement your party menu, especially if they took the liberty of inviting themselves or others.)

The Entertainment

Playing board or card games are a great way to give people a way to interact. Set up two or three games areas (space permitting). Have a poker game table. Play Pictionary. Get out your old Twister mat. Find games a variety of people like and can play. Also keep an area open so people can sit and talk. Most of your guests want to enjoy time socializing with you and your other friends. Give them a quiet area to do it.

Also choose some background music that fits the occasion. If you have loud dance music on, play it in an area away from where people congregate to talk. If your affair has a quieter more relaxed atmosphere, jazz or instrumental selections make the perfect mood music.

If your party will have lots of new faces, play a ‘getting to know you game’. Make introductions as you walk around serving. Although you didn’t originally invite some of your guests, be a good host and get to know them. You never know, you might make a few new friends.

Make the Holidays Happy

Although you didn’t intend to throw a full-scale party, get into the holiday spirit and go with the flow. Remember, the holidays can be a lonely time for many people, so as you open of your home to more guests than you initially planned, tell yourself you’re spreading a little holiday cheer.

And in the future, be more specific when inviting your friends over. Specify if you’re having a very small, intimate gathering for a just a few of you.

Until then, Happy Holidays!