Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View

How to Host a Holiday Planning Party

July 10, 2023 Julie @ The Farm Wife Season 2 Episode 67
How to Host a Holiday Planning Party
Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View
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Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View
How to Host a Holiday Planning Party
Jul 10, 2023 Season 2 Episode 67
Julie @ The Farm Wife

I love holidays, but there is one aspect that has always been daunting – and that is all the planning that leads up to those special days. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or any other big holiday celebration, I always wish I had help with the planning part of it. 

One way to make it easier is to host a Holiday Planning Party. Since we’re talking about planning ahead for Christmas this month, I’ll focus more on that holiday in this podcast. But just know – this same principle can apply to any major holiday or celebration.

And before you groan about having to do even more planning, hosting a Planning Party doesn't have to be anything formal. No gilt-edged invitations required or contacting a caterer! With a few preparations, you can gather together with a few friends to exchange ideas, recipes, and DIY instructions to make everyone's holiday planning easier, and a lot more fun.

Are you ready to get started? Then listen in and let’s make a plan. 

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

The Farm Wife (website)

Let's Visit! (email)

Amazon Shop Page

Great Products by The Farm Wife:

The Simple Life Workbook
Simple Life Home Finance Bundle
The Art of Homemaking

Find other helpful Simple Life Products in
The Farm Wife Shop

Do you want to learn more about living a simple life? Then a great place to start is with the books in my Simple Life Series!

Living a Simple Life on the Farm (my story)

The Search for a Simple Life

How to Cook a Possum: Yesterday’s Skills & Frugal Tips for a Simple Life (don’t worry – this isn’t a cookbook!)

Show Notes Transcript

I love holidays, but there is one aspect that has always been daunting – and that is all the planning that leads up to those special days. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or any other big holiday celebration, I always wish I had help with the planning part of it. 

One way to make it easier is to host a Holiday Planning Party. Since we’re talking about planning ahead for Christmas this month, I’ll focus more on that holiday in this podcast. But just know – this same principle can apply to any major holiday or celebration.

And before you groan about having to do even more planning, hosting a Planning Party doesn't have to be anything formal. No gilt-edged invitations required or contacting a caterer! With a few preparations, you can gather together with a few friends to exchange ideas, recipes, and DIY instructions to make everyone's holiday planning easier, and a lot more fun.

Are you ready to get started? Then listen in and let’s make a plan. 

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

The Farm Wife (website)

Let's Visit! (email)

Amazon Shop Page

Great Products by The Farm Wife:

The Simple Life Workbook
Simple Life Home Finance Bundle
The Art of Homemaking

Find other helpful Simple Life Products in
The Farm Wife Shop

Do you want to learn more about living a simple life? Then a great place to start is with the books in my Simple Life Series!

Living a Simple Life on the Farm (my story)

The Search for a Simple Life

How to Cook a Possum: Yesterday’s Skills & Frugal Tips for a Simple Life (don’t worry – this isn’t a cookbook!)

I love holidays, but there is one aspect that has always been daunting – and that is all the planning that leads up to those special days. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or any other big holiday celebration, I always wish I had help with the planning part of it. 

One way to make it easier is to host a Holiday Planning Party. Since we’re talking about planning ahead for Christmas this month, I’ll focus more on that holiday in this podcast. But just know – this same principle can apply to any major holiday or celebration.

And before you groan about having to do even more planning, hosting a Planning Party doesn't have to be anything formal. No gilt-edged invitations required or contacting a caterer! With a few preparations, you can gather together with a few friends to exchange ideas, recipes, and DIY instructions to make everyone's holiday planning easier, and a lot more fun.

Are you ready to get started? Then let’s make a plan. 

Before you do anything else, you need to determine the details. First, decide on who you want to invite. Consider which friends love to celebrate holidays, those who have small children or large family holiday gatherings. These will be the folks who will benefit most and enjoy it more. 

Next, you will need to determine a date and time. A good suggestion is to talk to the friends you want to invite to find the best day possible for them. 

A Planning Party may be informal, but you will still want to offer refreshments. With that in mind, the time of the party will determine what you serve. From there, you need to think about what room will work best. You need a place to spread out, with enough room for the Show, Tell and Do portion of the party, and enough room at each space to write notes and possibly keep a notebook open.

Available space is one reason you may want to keep your Planning Party small - around 4 to 5 friends. This is a large enough 'crowd' to offer plenty of ideas, but still small enough to give everyone plenty of room. The ideal room for this is a Dining Room, Kitchen, or a craft room with a large worktable. Consider what you want to accomplish. If it is simply exchanging decorating tips and recipes, you will need less room. 

The best Planning Party is one that also offers an exchange of ideas for handmade gifts. You can limit it to simple stocking stuffers or expand it to fit all types of gifts for any age. Just keep in mind the time you have to create these gifts. You still have baking, shopping, and wrapping to do! The last thing you need on your planning list is what everyone needs to bring. 

It’s time to make some actual notes for your Holiday Planning Party.

First, have your guests come prepared to exchange ideas for anything holiday related. Think in terms of

·        Decorating Themes & Tips 

·        Recipes 

·        DIY Patterns 

·        Menu Ideas 

·        Guest Accommodations 

·        Hostess Gifts

·        Party Ideas

·        Menus 

·        Gift Ideas (Including handmade items)

You will also want to ask your guests to bring a recipe, DIY pattern, an ornament, magazine article or photo of their ideas to use for Show & Tell. 

As the hostess, a fun thing you may want to do is to provide each guest with a small gift bag filled with a few recipe cards, a small notebook, and a pen. This gives them a place to write down recipes, make notes, or jot down ideas. If you want to take it a bit further, you can also add additional small items, such as a thimble, pack of Thanksgiving or Christmas stickers, or other holiday related items. 

To help them keep all of their plans, recipes, DIY patterns and other information in one place, suggest they bring a 3-ring binder. This will not only help them keep all of the information they receive in one place, but they can also add to it as the holidays get closer. 

This notebook is a great place to keep checklists, worksheets and more to help their holiday planning run smoothly. The best part about keeping this information in a notebook is it can be used year after year.

If it helps, I designed a notebook specifically for Christmas, and it includes tips on getting organized, menu planning, DIY instructions, checklists, and everything you will need to plan ahead for your holiday. It’s called Have a Merry, Simple Christmas, and you can find a link to it in the show notes of this podcast.

Now it’s time to put your plan into action.  First, invite your friends. You can do this simply by calling them or sending out printed invitations. If you do call them, you may still want to send them a reminder that gives them the date, time, and place. You will also want to explain what a Planning Party is and include a list of things they are expected to bring. 

The next thing you need to do is make a shopping list for any supplies and ingredients you will need. Any time I plan a gathering, I first check my pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see what I have on hand. I then plan my menu around those items. I also try to find things I can make ahead and place in the freezer. This makes it easier for you on the day before and the day of the party. 

Once you have chosen your menu and completed your shopping, it is time to bake. Start with your main dish. If you are considering a Brunch, think 'Quiche'. This is an easy dish to make and can be frozen for up to three months if wrapped tightly. 

Cookies can also be frozen. Make your dough ahead of time, roll into balls and store in a container in the freezer. The day before the party, pull them out and bake. Coffee Cakes, Muffins and Sweet Breads can be frozen ahead of time as well. 

Now for the menu. Keep in mind, a Holiday Planning Party is designed to be informal, and doesn't have to be extravagant. Just a simple meal or a few snacks will be plenty. If you choose a morning time, you could serve Quiche, muffins, and a Fruit Salad, or just a coffee cake, or a sweet bread, such as Strawberry or Banana Nut with coffee or tea. 

 If you plan on combining the party with lunch, think Chicken Salad Sandwiches and chips.  Sometimes, an afternoon works better for everyone. If this is the case, just offer snacks, such as cookies, a fruit tray, trail mix, or brownies. 

And no matter when you have your party, you can easily serve coffee, hot or cold tea, lemonade, or water for your beverages.  

Now it’s time to start getting ready for the party. Starting a couple of days beforehand, you want to work on the prep work. These are things such as cleaning the house, clearing the clutter from your intended work area and room, designating a food area, and setting out the plates, glasses, utensils, and other serving pieces. You may also want to assemble the gift bags and any handouts you want to contribute. 

The morning of the party is when you will do all the final touches – things like putting any frozen meals in the oven, getting the coffee pot ready, wrapping any pre-made muffins in tin foil and placing them in the oven to warm and doing a final wipe down of the counters and sweeping the floor if necessary.

When the party gets started, ask each guest to share their ideas. It is best to structure it so each category is covered at one time, rather than all of them together. 

For each category, allow guests to have 'Show & Tell' time. When it gets to the Recipes, offer each guest several recipe cards to copy any recipes they may want to add to their notebooks. If you or your guests offer printouts of DIY patterns or directions, have enough ready for each guest. These can either be 3-hole punched beforehand or during the party.  

The only thing left to do is enjoy your friends and know that your holiday planning is well on its way. And the beauty of it is, you won’t be scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. Instead, because you hosted a holiday planning party, you can take a few of the ideas you learned and start working on them. You can do a little at a time, spend some of those hot summer days inside working on some of those new handmade gift ideas. Or get in the kitchen and work on some of those new recipes to put in the freezer. You can also schedule a fun day with the kids making ornaments or helping them make their own handmade gifts. 

Are you ready to spend less time working and more time enjoying your friends and family during the holidays? Then it’s time to get ready by hosting a Holiday Planning Party. And get ready to sit back and enjoy those simple holidays you’ve been dreaming about!

 

If you want to learn more about the topic at hand just visit my website at www.thefarmwife.com/ 

If you have questions or just want to stop in for a visit, you can do that through email at thevirtualporch@gmail.com. And be sure to subscribe – you don’t want to miss a single conversation. I'll be sitting on the porch every Monday morning waiting for your visit!

Thanks again for stopping in. I will see you next week on Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. And while you are waiting on the next episode, grab that glass of refreshment, pull up a rocker, and sit back for a while. It’s time to relax and enjoy.

Have a Merry, Simple Christmas  - Product