The holidays are near and when you’ve just built a new home, there’s no better way to celebrate than to host a holiday party in your new digs.
But, your new home deserves a little more pizzazz than any old regular housewarming party in a used home. Below are some tips to help you host the best holiday party in your new home.
1) Get to Know Your New Home
When you move into a new home, everything is new. From the toilets to the kitchen equipment, you may not be used to your new items. So, do a few trial runs before your party to prevent burnt or undercooked food, says Rebecca Blanton, a private chef in Napa, Calif., and author of ‘Eat Good, Drink Good, Live Good’, a cookbook and entertaining guide.
Blanton says she catered a party in a new home where dust and other sediment from construction had settled in the pipes, causing a toilet stoppage. So, give your toilets lots of use before your party so there are no issues. Other things to test include your heating system, because you want your guests to be warm, but not hot, and spaces can heat up quickly with lots of people in the room. Test out the size of your refrigerator and oven, because more than likely you aren’t sure yet how much food can be prepared at one time, and how much can be stored in the refrigerator.
2) Create an Atmosphere
You can create an inviting atmosphere with a few tricks that aren’t costly. Blanton says that new homes often come with high-wattage bulbs that might be too harsh for a party. So, replace the light bulbs with softer lighting. Blanton also suggests using evergreen branches with pops of red or white flowers or using silver or gold decorations.
Carla McDonald, founder and editor of The Salonniere, an online magazine dedicated to entertaining, says you should try decorating your ceiling to create a holiday atmosphere in your new home.
“Instead of filling your dining table with part decorations, hang flowers, garlands, balloons and other décor items from the ceiling,” she says. To add space to a room, hang a large mirror on one wall and use battery-operated candle arrangements to create a soft glow throughout your home.
You may not be done unpacking — and that’s OK. You can still entertain, even if you don’t know where your hosting dishes and decorations are. “If you don’t know where your kitchen stuff is, swap it in for low-cost stuff at Target” or another discount store, Blanton says.
Since you have just moved in, you may not have all your furniture unpacked. That might be a good thing, McDonald says. “Remove any unnecessary furniture,” she says. “If it can’t be sat on or served from, get rid of it for the party to maximize mingling space.”
No holiday party is complete without some music! Consider hiring a DJ to keep the party going, or create your own holiday mix on a streaming service. To avoid commercials, purchase a one-month subscription, Blanton says.
3) Keep It Simple
When it comes to food and drinks, try to keep your items as simple as possible — you want to spend time with family and friends, not cooking and baking. Punches — alcoholic and non-alcoholic — are an easy and cost-effective way to serve drinks. McDonald says holiday punches are so pretty they can do double-duty as a décor focal point, too. If you will offer water, try an herb- or fruit-infused water you can serve in a pitcher or dispenser.
When it comes to food, opt for a buffet so guests can serve themselves, leaving you free to mingle. Blanton suggests celebrating with food that’s local to your new neighborhood or city to help guests get to know the area.
If cooking is not your forte, there’s no shame in purchasing ready-made appetizers and entrees from the store. Dips, chips, nuts, cheese, mini quiches and other finger foods are good ideas for your party.
4) Don’t Forget Directions
If your new home is in a new area of town, online directions may not yet be available or might be confusing. So, be sure to include detailed directions to your new home so your guests will make it there!
When you move into your newly built home, you’ll want to celebrate. Indulge family and friends with a holiday party in your new home to celebrate your new beginnings and to help guests appreciate your new home as much as you do.
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.