Holidays

Tips for Hosting a Christmas Party

Invitations for holiday bashes go out early. Before every day of the season gets booked up, get your bid in for a Christmas party. Spread the word early so that all of your invited guests are available to say yes to your invitation.

If you are going to throw a Christmas party, you want all of your friends and family in attendance. Invite neighbours, coworkers, and others who you know and love to celebrate the festivities and make merry.

Now in order to host such a legendary party, you’ll need to start planning as soon as possible. Here are some great tips for getting that party off to a good start.

  1. Print up gorgeous invitation. Card programs on the computer usually include party invitations that can be personalized for your needs. Try for a Saturday afternoon a week or so before Christmas. As it gets closer to the holidays, your available days and times will get shorter. Include party theme (if applicable), menu (if applicable), and time frame for the party, and address. Don’t forget to ask for an R.S.V.P.
  2. Start on the party planning. What games will you have? Are you serving finger foods or a catered meal? Is the dress casual or dressy? Will there be recorded music or a DJ to play requests? Is this a party with alcohol or non-alcoholic beverages? Are kids invited? What is the capacity of your home? All of these questions will get you started on the planning.
  3. If you plan on catering, then RSVPs to your invitations are important. You’ll need an accurate headcount for ordering. If everyone has not responded two weeks before your party, call the non-committed invitees and ask for a response.
  4. Buy your decorations. This is a party, so your home needs to look the part. If it is a themed party, decorate according to the theme.
  5. If kids are invited, consider hiring a babysitter to watch the kids and play games with them.  Many Christmas parties are for adults only. If yours is one of them, state that in the invitation so guests can find child care.
  6. Move all breakable items out of the room. If there’s going to be dancing or games, something is bound to get knocked down or kicked across the floor. Store these things out of sight.
  7. If there is a bar, offer to drive your guests home if they get inebriated. No one wants their friends to drive drunk and hurt themselves or someone else.
  8. Set your house up early that day so that you have time to dress before the caterers arrive or if you are serving the food, before the food is ready. Have a list of games and supplies ready beforehand to play at the party.

Christmas parties can be so much fun. Make yours a party to remember and more importantly one you as the host can enjoy without stressing over every single detail.

Reduce Your Holiday & Travel Clutter

For those of us who go on holidays and enjoy family trips away from home, we inevitably find that a lot of knick-knacks and souvenirs from our travels worm their way into our home until we suddenly find ourselves inundated by things which we don’t need, but which we can’t bring ourselves to get rid of.

The  most drastic solution to avoiding holiday clutter is to not bring back any holiday souvenirs at all. But for most of us that’s unrealistic and unlikely to happen.  Here are 5 tips to help you keep your holiday souvenirs from cluttering your home:

  1. Take digital photographs and delete unwanted photos each night of your holiday. This way you bring back only great pictures that are great reminders of the places you’ve been to. And photos don’t take up much space.
  2. If you want a little piece of your travels to comeback home with you, why not try to keep that “little” piece truly little.  There are more than enough souvenirs which are small enough to fit into the palm of your hands and which won’t take up too much room in your house.  Instead of buying a lot of cheaper souvenirs, invest in a quality piece that best represents the fun of your travels.  This could be a carving, a snow globe, a figurine, etc.
  3. Send yourself beautiful postcards from wherever you go, and then when you get home, pin them up on a large corkboard that takes up space only on the wall and is a great visual reminder of your holiday.
  4. Fridge magnets are another great idea of a visual reminder of your holidays and you can contain them to one place in your house.
  5. Use your souvenirs as a practical storage item.  For example, a tall wooden giraffe I bought in Africa is a reminder of my trip to Africa and doubles as a place to hang my necklaces and helps me keep the clutter down.

So when you go on holiday, remember you want to bring home with you the peace and fun of your holiday and not a suitcase of things that will clutter your home and destroy your calm and relaxed state.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 🙂  I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed 2010 and that your Christmas day is full of love and gratitude.

For me, I am grateful for my family who continue to support and encourage me and are my greatest cheerleaders. And I am so very thankful for my friends and all the laughs we’ve enjoyed and for sharing the ups and downs of life.  Both the good times and bad times are better when shared.

Wishing you a 2011 full of all the best things in life. Here’s to lots of laughs in the year ahead 🙂

Car Games for Kids (And the Adults)

Holidays usually means we will be spending more time in the car driving greater distances to visit family and friends or to go away on holidays. Here are our tips to avoid the inevitable “Are we there yet?” cries from the backseat.
  • Create a bag for each child with new fun things like books, games and comics.
  • Pack energy bars, fruit, poppers and water.
  • Create a music folder on your ipod of music that both you and your kids love.  After all, there are only so many times you can listen to The Wiggles!
  • Collect together a great range of car games to keep the kids entertained. Here are a couple of our favourite car games:
    • Car Bingo – create cards with pictures of items that the kids need to look for. If you are heading to the sea, make up a bingo card with pictures of palm trees, the sea, sand, surfboard, etc. If you are heading to the country, make a bingo card with pictures of cows, sheep, tractors, ute, shed, etc.
    • Noughts and crosses – plain paper and a coloured pencil is all your kids need to play this fun game.
    • Hangman – once again, plain paper and coloured pencils are all you need to test you and your kids knowledge of words.
    • Cars and License Plates – have your kids write down all the different brands and types of cars. They can also do this for license plates, noting the different States.
    • Alphabet Game – starting with the letter A, one child names something they can see that starts with the letter A. The next child then names something they see that starts with the letter B. And so on through the alphabet. Remember to have your turn too!
    • Colour Game – each person chooses a colour and then on your count, each child looks for as many passing cars in their colour. When you call stop, the child with the most points wins.
    • Drawing – have plain paper and coloured pencils so your kids can draw.

Keeping the kids entertained on car journeys can be a challenge however with a little bit of planning and organisation, you will find that your car trip can be fun and enjoyable.