Planning a Christmas Open House

My husband, Jon, recently asked me if we’re going to host a Christmas Open House again this year. Of course, I’d like to. I already have my inspiration for the handmade nautical ornaments that I give to each guest! See my beach finds here.

But in addition to crafting, there’s lots of planning to do. If you’re thinking of hosting a holiday gathering, here’s my list to help you stay organized.

  1. Choose a date that does not conflict with office, church and friends’ holiday festivities.
  2. Create list of guests to invite.
  3. Choose time span for Open House. This type of gathering allows guests to come and go as their schedules allow.
  4. Use a stationary design website to create invitation.
  5. Determine budget for food, beverages, decorations and favors.
  6. Plan menu. Use a cookbook or website that represents well the culinary delights of your locality or your party’s theme. If possible, enlist the help of a friend or caterer. If you want to enjoy time with your guests, plan to have someone carry the responsibility of replenishing food trays and beverages.
  7. Make or purchase party favors. Handmade ornaments or beautifully wrapped sweet treats are great ideas to get you started.
  8. Decorate inside and outside.
  9. Create your musical playlist. Christmas music in the jazz genre works well for this type of gathering.
  10. Make in advance any menu items that freeze well.
  11. When setting up rooms and areas for guests to enjoy food and beverages, keep traffic flow in mind. Prepare self-service areas that are easily accessible.
  12. Make a record of your guests, any hostess gifts you received (don’t forget to send thank-you’s), the menu and recipe resources. Store information in a file attached to your calendar so that you can easily access it this time next year! You may even want to take pictures of your decorations and food arrangements for future reference.

Hope this keeps it simple for you! It takes some work, but it’s a ton of fun! But at the heart of it all, we have the message of God’s love given to us. Jesus came so that none would have to die in their sin; we can receive new life in Him- life that never ends! Friend, everyday is a party when we live in awareness of that truth! Merry Christmas!

Renee

Note: The 2014 Edition Handcrafted Christmas Ornament (Driftwood Sailboat, pictured below) is available for purchase at Renee Harbor and Home Etsy Store.

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