How to Host Your Best-Ever Holiday Party

Host a gathering that everyone – at any age – will enjoy.

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Friends and family at holiday party
Photo: Shutterstock

All Together Now!

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Unfortunately, playing host can add undue stress, especially if the guest list involves everyone from toddlers to great-grandparents.

According to Tamara Niyazov of the Fabe Fete Event Planning Boutique in Thornhill, Ont., the key to choosing the right food and activities is to stay inclusive. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as it sounds.

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Holiday Chorizo Tapas with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Photo: Dietitians of Canada

1. Food for Thought

Instead of orchestrating an elaborate meal with decorative place settings, keep it simple. “To please all age groups, stick to finger foods,” says Niyazov. Opt for samosas, sliders, mozzarella sticks, bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches, hummus with veggies and fruit kebabs.

They’re easy to eat and they don’t require plates or cutlery – just a quick grab-and-go. Bonus: you’ll avoid a massive cleanup and dishwashing session at the end of the party.

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Two friends wearing Christmas sweaters
Photo: Shutterstock

2. Fun and Games

Keep the festivities going after mealtime. Make a quick trip to your local thrift shop for some props before the party starts, and encourage guests to dress up for funny photos. To ensure things don’t get unruly, designate one corner of the room for the fashion shoot.

Want a fun alternative to the standard ugly sweater contest? “Organize a worst holiday photo contest!” Niyazov suggests. “Plan ahead and have every guest bring a copy of their funniest picture, then call a vote.”

Holiday-themed bingo is easy to grasp for youngsters. Or you can conduct a scavenger hunt and assign teams with a variety of ages – just make sure to throw in a couple of easier clues for the little ones.

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