Stress-Free Holiday Party Planning with 5 Easy Tips

Stress-Free Holiday Party Planning with 5 Easy Tips

This year, we’re partnering with Chinese American award-winning chef and cookbook author Kathy Fang from Food Network's Chef Dynasty: House of Fang, to throw a cozy and festive multicultural dinner party celebrating the holidays. We asked her to share some of her personal tips for stress-free holiday party planning. From setting up a space conducive to mingling to crafting a thoughtful menu to reducing the stress of hosting, Kathy shares insights on how she plans so everyone can celebrate at a stress-free holiday party.

From Kathy Fang:

  1. Set up a space conducive to mingling: 

    Top priority for stress-free holiday party planning is making it conducive for people to mingle and socialize freely before sitting down for a meal. If your guests don’t know each other, allow them to break the ice and meet each other, or if they do, then allow time for them to catch up. As host, I love seeing people mingle and having a good time. Having a grazing table with a small self-serve bar cart is a must. (From TwrlAnother great option is a DIY boba milk tea stationCheck out our post on how to set one up complete with printable and supply list!) This becomes the initial focal point for people to mingle around. The final thing I consider is the vibe. Music, candles and florals set the mood and should not be overlooked.

  2. Come up with a themed party menu: 

    When it comes to planning stress-free holiday party menu, I like going with themes. Will it be a classic holiday menu or one with an Asian twist? Or an Italian twist? One year, I did Thanksgiving-themed finger foods and made it so everything was bite sized. It’s fun to find themes and also helps with sparking creativity in menu planning.
  3. For party menu planning, consider your guests: 

    I also consider the group I’m entertaining. If I’m entertaining family, then we have older folks who like lighter fare. If I’m entertaining friends who plan to drink a lot, I go with heavier comfort food. I always think about who my guests are and what I believe they will enjoy the most.
  4. Don’t do it all yourself: 

    Key tip for stress-free holiday party planning?  Semi-home made!!!! Cook a few items by scratch and order the rest from your favorite restaurant or store. Don’t feel the pressure to make it all yourself. It will take a huge load off your shoulders and stress. Remember the party is as much for others as it is for you.
  5. Pre-party prep is key:

    Another essential tip for stress-free holiday party planning! I like to have everything 75% of the way done by the day of my event. Which means I start either 1 or 2 days before. When guests are arriving, I can mingle and say hi. Then I slip away to finish the rest 15 mins prior to serving. Usually things that can be warmed in the oven or on the stovetop are the most ideal for parties. Also, salads that can be tossed right before serving. The goal is to barely have to cook anything when guests arrive. 

This holiday, try infusing your party planning with some of Kathy’s holiday hosting finesse. We’d love to hear your experience! What did you find helpful? What other tips have you found that make for stress-free holiday party planning?

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