Plan a Holiday House to House Party with Neighbors this Holiday Season!
December 11, 2012
Share some holiday joy with your neighbors this year by hosting a holiday house-to-house party, also known as a progressive dinner, where each home hosts one course of the meal. This way, the party prep, and cleanup, is spread out among the group and everyone can show off their holiday decorations, maximizing the fun for everyone and minimizing the stress for the hosts. With every family pitching in for one part of the evening, no one is left shouldering the burden and the cost for the entire party and everyone can look forward to a holiday party that offers something different than the typical holiday celebration everyone expects.
This type of party works best for neighbors who live within walking distance so the party can move merrily from home to home without worrying about piling into cars. Figure out who wants to host which course and get some basic ideas of what will be served to ensure all the menus complement one another. Once you know who will be doing the hosting and what order your holiday progressive dinner will run in, you can send out your invitations about a month in advance.
A holiday house-to-house party is the perfect occasion for festive personalized holiday party invitations. With an event like this, where your guests will need to know which house to show up at first and where each course is going to take place, they'll need something they can hang on to and bring along the evening of the party, which isn't possible with an email invitation. Be sure to include a firm RSVP date so all the hosts know exactly how many people to expect and can plan accordingly.
Part of the appeal of a house-to-house holiday party is getting to show off your holiday decorations to your friends and neighbors. You'll be able to spend the night visiting with friends and marveling at everyone's beautiful Christmas trees, menorahs, holiday lights, and other festive decorations. Since everyone's house will already be beautifully decked out for the holidays, no one will have to worry about decorating for the party, they'll just have to set their table for the holiday feast. In an attempt to cut down on cleanup since no one is going to want to worry about dishes before heading off to the next house, consider using festive Christmas paper goods at everyone's home. Everyone can use a different theme for their part of the meal, with one house using pretty poinsettia plates, another going with a plaid holly theme, one using a snowflake pattern, and another featuring pretty peppermint plates. Paper plates allow the hosts to leave the cleanup till after the party is over without having to worry about dried up food ruining their best china. It's also a good idea to either use plastic wine glasses or ask everyone to bring their own glasses for the evening and carry them from house to house. This eliminates the problem of glasses going missing at the end of the evening if they wind up at someone else's home or not having enough glasses for everyone.
Thanks to your personalized Christmas invitations, everyone will know where the party is taking place and who is hosting what course, but another fun way to let everyone know which house they need to head to first is to use Christmas custom banners. Place one in the front yard of each home involved in the party, letting guests know which course is being held there. Or, line the sidewalks from one home to the next with festive holiday luminaries, providing a well-lit path from home to home for the guests to follow!
Give guests a ten-minute warning before the party will be moving to the next house, letting them know it's time to start finishing up their food and getting ready for the next party of the evening. This also gives the next hostess a chance to slip out and head to her own home, where she can light candles, turn on some holiday music CD and set out the food.
While a holiday house-to-house may take a little more pre-planning and organization than a typical holiday open house, the pay off for this fun party is a chance to visit with your neighbors and see their beautiful holiday decorations while enjoying a festive meal that you don't have to do all the planning and preparation for. A holiday party that everyone is sure to enjoy, this is sure to become a neighborhood tradition that the whole group looks forward to every year!