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Hosting the perfect holiday party

Winter is a season of entertaining, preparing large meals and spending time with family and friends. If you’ve been tasked (or volunteered) to host a holiday party, there are a few pieces of advice that are sure to save you from stressing and spending a ton. We at Williams and McDaniel Property Management want to ensure the holidays go smoothly so we have compiled some helpful tips that will make hosting the perfect holiday party a breeze.

Set A Date

It is best to make arrangements a few weeks before the holidays to be safe. Family and friends will appreciate having adequate time to RSVP and you’ll guarantee their attendance before calendars fills up. 

Guest List

Keep things organized and accurately plan and prepare the right amount of food options and drinks to serve by having a clear list of attendees. Outline the date, time and what you’ll be serving or what items you need guests to bring.


Menu Planning

Eliminate the stress of hosting a holiday party and get your guests involved by asking them to create appetizers, side dishes or desserts to be served alongside your main dishes. Make note of what everyone is bringing and share that information with other guests to avoid a surplus of one item.  


Make In Advance

Making as much of the food and drinks as you can ahead of time will save you on the day of your party. Getting prep work out of the way will keep you organized and composed while you entertain.  Freezable appetizers, sauces and all the chopping and dicing can be done and refrigerated or frozen until they are needed.



Get guests to help themselves to the meal offerings by adopting a buffet-style setup. This will allow dinner to be dished out quickly and food can be kept warm while guests help themselves.



Decorations should be kept simple and tasteful. Make sure to avoid large centrepieces on the dining table as they will use up space that would be better left for food.


Driving Arrangements

If you are planning to serve alcohol, it is your responsibility to make sure guests return home safely. Whether you’ve assigned a designated driver, you have taxis reserved or guests are spending the night on your couch, be prepared with taxi chits, space and make sure all keys are safely stored away.


Gift Exchange


White Elephant

White Elephant is a popular holiday party game and gift exchange method that is known by a variety of other names with differing rules. Everyone is asked to bring one wrapped gift – a strange knick-knack, gadget or trinket. Those who are playing draw numbers or cards to indicate player order. One person opens the first gift and displays it to the room and the next player’s turn starts. The second player can either open a new gift or “steal” the first player’s gift. If the gift is stolen, the first player must open a new present and so on and so forth.


Secret Santa

Organize your office or family gift exchanges online using Elfster. This free software is described as “One Part Wishing + One Part Shopping + One Part Social Networking + One Part Gaming = Tons of Fun.” Just invite participants to sign up online and Elfster will handle the name draw for you.


Simplify hosting this year’s holiday party by following these helpful pieces of advice. At Williams and McDaniel Property Management, we wish you a safe and happy holiday with family, friends and loved ones.