For those of you who LOVE to entertain, the holidays are the perfect time for it! I absolutely love throwing parties – preferably dinner parties. I love the planning, shopping and cooking. The cleaning part, not so much – but if you live in a big city, you can hire a task rabbit and not worry yourself with playing bartender and clean-up lady.

I love Paperless Post because you can track RSVP’s and they offer a nice guest list that you can print out and give to the front lobby (if you’re a city girl, this helps!).

First things first, decide on a date. Remember, people are busy during the holidays and the closer you get to the actual holiday, the busier they will be. Try to plan your party ahead and shoot for a date that is a week or so before the actual holiday, because most people tend to spend the actual holiday with their families.

Choose a theme for your holiday party (if this is an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, it’s nice to add this to the invite). Some fun ideas . . .Winter Wonderland, Candyland, Santa Themed, Ugly Christmas Sweater, 1920’s! The invite is also the time to mention attire — this you can get creative with. The party I threw last year was “Sparkly Holiday Attire” and I left the men trying to figure that one out. They all looked nice and the ladies wore pretty holiday dresses and such.

Once you’ve put a guest list together, invite your guests. Once you start receiving RSVP’s you can put together a party budget. If this if your first time throwing a holiday party, you may need to spend a bit more (one time purchases) to get all the supplies you need. But just think of next years holiday party and how many things you will already have!

Plan party food, decorations, etc, a week or so before your party. I’ve added some snaps from my party last year. Unfortunately, the photos were all taken on an iPhone 5 so the quality isn’t that great.

[The hot cocoa station – a huge hit. We all have those friends who don’t drink for one reason or another, and this is a perfect way to make them feel included. Plus, it’s great for the end of the night as a to-go drink for your friends that have a had just a little too much bubbly]

[Don’t forget the mistletoe]

[A perfect cheese plate consists of : aged, soft, firm, blue, and one familiar cheese — fruit, nuts, bread]

[The ambience is in the details, if your theme is “sparkly” everything should sparkle/twinkle a bit. . . try mixing lots of soft and bright lights all over, adding sparkly gold spray paint and glitter where possible. Golds and silvers tend to sparkle when this type of lighting is available so try to stick with those colors]

[A beautiful Christmas tree always helps, tree and most decor from Balsam Hill – mini chandelier ornaments at Neiman Marcus]

[T’was a magical evening]

[The best part about the Winter Wonderland theme was that I could cover all my furniture with these white disposable covers from Costco]

[Sparkly liners and tablecloths can be found on Etsy]

[Turned my Fall decorations into Holiday decor with a little spray paint]

[Hot Spiced Apple Cider is a must!]

[Photo props are always fun]

[More Props]

[Don’t forget the fire.. hehe]

[You will definitely need a full bar and some skills]

[Loved this disposable Chandelier from Party City]

[Spiked eggnog martinis in gold rimmed glasses]

And ALWAYS invite cool people. Holidays parties can be so confusing sometimes – white elephant, dirty santa? Everyone plays these games differently, but that’s the charm.

The game I chose for my party was Dirty Santa, one of my guests actually showed up with dirty gag gifts!! It was hilarious.

Have any of you ever thrown a party? What was the funniest thing that happened?