5 Tips for A Successful Holiday Party

Start Early

Here is your permission to go ahead and put your tree up early! Creating a festive and welcoming space for your family and guests will be so much more enjoyable if you are not rushed and worn out. The month of December fills up quickly with commitments, parties, responsibilities etc. Having my home decorated and tidy helps me to enjoy the holiday season and focus on THE reason for the season – even when it gets crazy!  With that being said…remember, sometimes, less is more. No need to try and compete with Martha Stewart! Keep in mind what your end goal is – for friends and/or family to feel welcomed and have an enjoyable time while in your home.

Plan Ahead and Keep it Simple

When I am planning for a party, I like to stick with tried and true favorites. Trying a new recipe the day of an event can lead to added stress. If there is something new you want to serve at your next get together, give it a try the week before to avoid surprises. There are many party foods that can be prepared in advance and frozen. Also, not everything has to be “made.” Sometimes, it is just as cost effective, (and way easier), to grab a pre-made dip or dessert from Sam’s Club or Costco. It’s all about the presentation. Select a festive bowl or platter and transfer the contents, and no one will ever know… unless they ask for the recipe!

If someone offers to bring something, graciously accept! Oftentimes, people have a favorite recipe that they enjoy sharing with others, and this gives them an opportunity and helps lighten your load.

Have Fun

If your party will have guests with a wide range of ages, be sure to include something for everyone. A cookie decorating station or an ornament making project will more than likely be a hit with “the littles.” If games are on the agenda, select something that works for all ages. Pinterest is a great source for game ideas. 

Get Creative With Your Gift Exchange

I don’t love a traditional gift exchange. Maybe I am too frugal, (or cheap), but sometimes it seems like a waste of money. I know that sounds very Bah Humbug, but really, what can you find in the $15-$20 range? This year, you might try a “Few of Our Favorite Things” gift exchange. The way this works is each participant will purchase and wrap an item that is a favorite item of theirs. It might be their favorite kitchen gadget, coffee blend, candle, electronic gizmo, book, whatever. You can choose from several different games to actually exchange the gifts – Dirty Santa or Roll the Dice are a couple. Again, check Pinterest for ideas. To me, this version makes the gift buying easier and gives you a chance to share with others a little something about yourself by sharing something you enjoy. This year at our family Christmas get together, I want to do a My Favorite Things White Elephant Gift Exchange…Temu Edition…$5 price limit!


Hosting doesn’t have to be stressful. We tend to create stress when we overthink and overcomplicate things. Give yourself grace, and stop with the comparisons! That will rob you of your enjoyment every time. The more relaxed you are, the more comfortable your guests will be, which will, in turn, create the environment for a memorable get together!

Amy came to Destiny almost 16 years ago from the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association with excellent experience in membership organization and special events planning. She assumed the role of Director of Finance and Accounting and DLI Student Services with Destiny Ministries. With a flare for home decor and a creative eye for design, she brings that warmth and creativity ability to Destiny events and environments. She has been married to her husband, EG, for 29 years. They have three children: Micah, along with his wife Kelli, Nate, and Abbi, and three grandchildren: Kara Jane, Daxton, and Gentrey.