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10 Tips on Being the Best Party Host?

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Being a party host can be stressful. Whether you're planning a holiday party or a casual gathering, you may accidentally go overboard, potentially stressing yourself out when it's not necessary. If you love having people over to your home, you'll need to learn how to be the best party host without letting it cause you stress. Being a good host is all about preparing and how you act once the party starts. No one wants to be the host of a bad party, but bad parties are only possible when you're a bad host. Instead of letting yourself get too stressed worrying about what others will think of your party or home, follow these tips on being the best host:

1. Don't Force Activities

Party hosts should never force guests to do anything, especially party games. For example, not everyone at your thanksgiving party wants to discuss what they're thankful for while they're all waiting to eat. Instead, you should host a party that feels natural and give your guests options. For example, you can have multiple spaces for games, hanging out, and even for individuals who want to watch the news or sports. 

2. Use Basic Desserts

You want your guests to love your desserts, but that doesn't mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. Basic desserts like brownies from a box or your grandmother's chocolate chip cookie recipe go over just as well as more extravagant sweets. In addition, if you're not the best baker, now is not the time to experiment just because you want your guests to be amazed by your skills. Instead, stick to what you know or purchase your desserts from the store to keep everyone happy. 

3. Don't Over-Decorate

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It's easy to go overboard for a party, especially during the holidays when decorations are important. However, if you over-decorate, you could make your home look chaotic rather than festive. In addition, decorations can take up space your guests need to walk around, stand, and get to different areas of your home. Therefore, keep your decorations simple, and never put anything on the floor where they could be bumped into. 

4. Give Gifts

Your guests typically don't expect gifts during a party, so this one isn't necessary. However, nothing makes guests remember an event, like getting something to bring home with them. Luckily, gifts for your guests don't have to be expensive to be thoughtful. You can get them anything from personalized photo plaques to trinkets to commemorate the party. 

5. Use Lighting

The right lighting is crucial for any party. Hosts shouldn't play with the lights all party long, but they should consider the lighting they want to use to set the tone. Bright lights can make people feel self-conscious, and they can cause headaches. Try opening up the windows during a day party to utilize the natural light and be sustainable with your energy consumption. Meanwhile, soft lights can help party guests feel more confident and relaxed. 

6. Play Music

While most people don't come to parties to listen to your playlist, you should have some music to break up periods of silence. Of course, your music shouldn't be so loud your guests can't hear each other talk. Still, music can help keep your guests engaged and upbeat. Choose your playlist wisely, though. Playing sad songs at a celebration can change the mood, potentially confusing your guests. Instead, consider the reason for your party and choose your music wisely. For example, during the holidays, consider fixing some holiday music into a playlist with other types of music in between. 

7. Put the Kids to Bed

Of course, your kids can and should be a part of the fun. However, they should also go to bed at their regular times since young ones can get cranky, and a party is not the place for tantrums. When it's time to put the kids to bed, you can excuse yourself from the party and tuck them in. Once the kids are in their beds, you can continue your party, but you may choose to lower the music. If you have very young children, you may consider getting a babysitter who can watch over them in another room and put them to bed for you to prevent any public tantrums. 

8. Don't Stress About Perfection

Nothing is going to be perfect when you host a party; something is always bound to go wrong, but that doesn't mean you and your guests can't have a great time. Expecting the unexpected is crucial when hosting a party, so always have a plan B for everything. For example, if your dessert falls on the floor, have something else in the fridge you can serve. 

9. Consider Your Guest List

Being a good party host means knowing who to invite and who to exclude. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to invite everyone. For example, if you're hosting a work party, you should invite everyone from the office. However, you don't have to invite people from work you don't get along with to a Christmas party with your friends and family. Removing anyone who you think might not have a good time or affect someone else's ability to have a good time will improve the atmosphere. 

In addition, try to keep your guest list only as long as you think you can handle and manage. If this is your first time hosting a party, you might not want to invite 50 or more people. Instead, consider keeping it small until you learn the ins and outs of being a good party host. 

10. Have Fun

If you're so stressed you don't have time to spend with your guests, there's really no point in hosting a party. Your guests come to your party to see you, whether or not they know each other, so if you're hiding away in the kitchen prepping the dinner and desserts and you're not a part of the party, it can quickly become boring. When the party starts, you deserve to have as much fun as anyone, especially because you put the entire thing together. If you have room in your budget, consider hiring help to keep your party going smoothly. You can hire party planners, caterers, bartenders, DJs, and more that will help keep your party fun so that you can enjoy yourself

Megan Isola

Megan Isola

Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.

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