You have friends.
You’d like them to come over and hang out.
But, you hate party planning. It stresses you out.
I’ve got a solution for you…the Last Minute Holiday Open House.
Last Minute Holiday Open Houses are the best because they are low-stress, low-expectation, and filled with spur-of-the-moment mojo.
(Which is the opposite of “I committed to this three weeks ago and now I HAVE to go!” debbie-downer-ism.)
Here’s some tips on how to throw a last minute holiday open house.
How To Throw A Last Minute Holiday Open House
1. Create An Invite List.
Make the invite list a mixture of your besties and some people you normally wouldn’t invite, but think would be fun. And since it is short notice and you’ll have a few “no thank you”, so invite 20% more people than you normally would.
2. Send The Invitation Less Than 18-Hours In Advance.
If you are throwing a morning get together, send it the afternoon before. An evening get together, send it the morning of the party. This short-turn around time creates the low-expectation, spur-of-the-moment mojo. Use either text messages or Facebook messages for inviting. If people say “yes”, they are because they think it will be fun, not because they feel obligated.
3. A Fun Activity.
People always groan when you have a planned activity – but in the end, everyone secretly likes it. Plus, it is a great way to break the ice if not all of your guests are acquainted with each other. I used photo booth props at my last party and it was a hoot. Either have people take photos with their cell phones or have an instant camera and then give away a small prize at the end for the best picture. You’d be surprised what a little competition will do…
4. Create An Informal Buffet Table.
Open houses are meant to be informal, so purchase foods that are easy to eat and don’t require much attention from you. Chips and dip, bread and olive oil, cheese and crackers, cookies, etc. And once you show your guests where the munchies are, consider your job done and continue to socialize.
5. Easy Beverage Bar.
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to want to drink the same beverage. In addition to the buffet table, create a beverage bar with multiple choices. Water, soda, wine/beer, and always carafe of coffee. At my last party, I set up a coffee maker on the bar with water and instructions on how to use the Folger’s Perfect Measures Black Silk. It was great, because each person who wanted coffee could make a cup (or two) based on how strong (or weak) they wanted the coffee. Plus, I blew a few people’s minds on how great Folger’s Perfect Measures tastes. (You can score some for yourself with this new coupon.)
6. Have Fun.
Remember, this is a low-stress, low-expectation open house, so ENJOY it. People remember a general feeling of a get together (fun, food, drink), over specific things (baked brie with cranberries with a wine reduction). Your guests will take their cues from you…if you are relaxed and having fun, they will too. So make sure to grab a cookie and a cup of coffee and sit down and talk to your guests. And enjoy the perfect open house.
What about you? Have you ever thrown together a last minute open house? How did it go? Leave a comment and let us know.
Disclosure: Folgers is a partner of RedefinedMom. However, the written remarks and opinions are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.