We really do enjoy Holiday parties. The attendees are top notch (guest list only), always catered, generally open-bar, and more often than not, everyone is dressed to impress. But you know those nights when your friend calls you and says, “hey, I’m having a few people over tonight, keep it low and bring a guest”? Those nights turn out to be some of my most memorable, for sure. Sort of like having cocktails at the pre-drink before heading out dancing for the night. During the next-morning recap, that unanimous “highlight” of the night is almost always the cocktails before hitting the town. With that I rest my case and the importance of holiday entertaining at your condo. Having your favourite people over for a “Condo Holiday Party” is a must-do during the holiday season. In fact, it is so essential that we’ve put together our Top 5 Tips to Condo Holiday Entertaining for you and yours. Here they are:
Condo Holiday Entertaining Tip 5 – Guests
The first important detail that you simply cannot take lightly is which lucky colleagues or friends will be getting an invite to your party. Be mindful of this details because it’s essentially the foundation of your condo holiday party. If the wrong guests come it doesn’t exactly help to create that chilled out holiday vibe that you’re likely going for. So be aware of who you invite and who they invite. It’s okay to let a friend know that the invitation is for them “sans guest” or it’s for them “plus 1”, not a problem, be sure to voice this ahead of time and not after the fact.
Condo Holiday Entertaining Tip 4 – Food
Once you know who’s coming you can now figure out if there are any particular dietary requirements that you should pay attention to in order to be the host or hostess with most or mostest. You get the idea. Is your colleague a vegetarian or a total vegan, perhaps? If you are going to be cooking or ordering in make sure that you have more than salad as an option for those that may be restricted in their dining options. It’s also time to make some requests in terms of what guests should bring, make a checklist and cover your bases to ensure that no staple foods are forgotten. Hungry guests are generally not happy or jolly. If, you’re going straight to desserts and cocktails, this is a perfectly acceptable option just be sure to have lots of dessert and a couple show-stoppers that really bring the wow-factor.
Condo Holiday Entertaining Tip 3 – Ambiance
Let’s talk ambiance. Will your condo holiday party have a euro-chic feel with dim lights and Cafe del mar playing in the background or are you going with bright lights and Christmas carols? Determining your ambiance is key. It’s the subtleties that go a long way. I suggest dimming the lights, lighting candles (no, not 2, try 15), flowers, and some chill house tunes (Cafe del mar or Buda bar) and … voila!!
Condo Holiday Entertaining Tip 2 – Libations
Obviously there will be some sort of libation at your party. It might be various spirits for guests to mix their own cocktails, champagne, wine, and beer, a martini bar, or a themed cocktail night. Hey you may even decide that tequila tasting is the way you want to go, whatever it is be sure of one thing … you have more than enough to go around. The idea is definitely not to have your guests get sloppy, but at the same time, it is definitely not to run out of alcohol and have the wine drinker move to beer or the champagne drinker forced to go dirty martini (although that would actually be my preference) because you didn’t stock appropriately. So plan accordingly and make sure to have what you expect your guests will want. Another tip that goes a very long way and is inexpensive, is to have plenty of garnishes: sliced strawberries, lime wedges, celery salt rims (for the ceasar lovers), olives, and the like, this is a very cheap addition that makes a huge difference in the cocktail experience. If you’re already spending on the expensive stuff (the liquor) you may as well go the distance folks.
Condo Holiday Entertaining Tip 1 – Entertainment
This is the kicker ladies and gents. Allow me to paint the picture – you’ve got 15 or so of your favourite people at your condo, everyone is sufficiently full, the mood is right, several cocktails in to the night, and now the question is what young professional wouldn’t want some quality holiday entertainment? That’s why you need your entertainment to be planned ahead of time for just when your guests have loosened up and let their guard down. There are several great games to play, one that a colleague of mine who works for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in downtown Toronto mentioned they do at their office is where everyone brings a gift that cost an agreed upon amount. Each guest is then given a number. Starting at 1 and going until the last person gets a number, the person with the first number (Person 1) goes to the middle and chooses a gift. Then the next person (Person 2) can either go to the middle or select the gift that Person 1 already has chose, thus Person 1 would go back to the middle and select another gift. Person 3 then decides if he wants to go to the middle or select the gift from Person 1 or Person 2. This goes on until every person has one gift. A side note is that you may want to put a limit on how many times each gift can be transferred. If you plan to play a game like this at your condo holiday party make sure to tell your guests to come with a present beforehand, obviously, and give them at least one weeks notice – nobody wants a new dust collector.
Well Notable ladies and gents, this concludes our Top 5 Condo Holiday Entertaining Tips, hopefully you find them useful and put them in to action over the next few weeks.
Remember one thing, don’t let any of your guests drink and drive, that is on you to moderate and look out for because there is surely there is nothing notable about that. Remember this: the limit these days is .05 so if you’re over that and pulled over by RIDE odds are you won’t be having a happy holiday.
Image courtesy Stock.Xchng.