Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to take on the 24 Hour Holiday Party Challenge with Winners and Marshalls Canada. The 24 Hour Holiday Party Challenge is having 24 hours (or less) to organize everything needed to host a fun holiday party with family and friends. I basically had 24 hours to do everything from planning, to prepping for the party (shopping for décor, food and gifts), to invite all our guests, decorate and host the party. Oh, and to look presentable.
This post is in partnership with WINNERS and Marshalls Canada. That said, execution of the holiday party as well as thoughts and opinions in this piece are my own.
The holiday season is a time filled with food, family, friends and that warm fuzzy feeling. I wanted to take on the 24 Hour Holiday Party Challenge because the holidays is a great time to bring everyone together to connect and celebrate a great year. With everyone’s busy schedule, I wanted to see if a last minute celebration was possible and with the help from WINNERS and Marshalls, here are some tips and tricks on how you can also attempt the 24 Hour Holiday Party Challenge!
How we did it:
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
This is tip number 1 because in order to pull this off, you need to be well rested and ready to go, so be sure to keep your body in check and hydrate throughout the day.
Choose a colour scheme to guide your party
This is especially helpful when you’re tight on time and need a quick way to organize yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you see a ton of beautiful décor items. I knew for a fact that Winners and Marshalls would be filled with the perfect holiday decorations and so, I had to find a way to streamline my thoughts.
I decided on a Grey/Blue rustic theme for the apartment and that definitely kept my eyes and head in check when searching for decorations because I would immediately pinpoint where the decorations and silverware in those tones were.
Send out the invites first thing in the day
This is to ensure that you have an idea of the number of people who are able to attend your party. It also helps you figure out how much food is needed and how many gifts to prepare for guests.
For my 24 Hour Holiday Party, I kept the invite list to my nearest and dearest, and chose a day that I knew they were generally or most likely than not to be free. As it draws closer to Christmas, weekends might be harder for your guests so weekday evenings could also be an option. Hence, you would need to adjust the theme of your party depending on when you host it. For example, if it was a weekday evening party, I would suggest a classy Wine & Cheese Party.
Cap your shopping time and act fast and effectively
I’m someone who likes to plan and do things in the most efficient way possible. That’s why with planning a last minute party, I wanted to make sure that the location we decided to shop at was somewhere that we could get 90% of what we needed to minimize travel time. As well, I wanted to head somewhere that had items in a good price range and wasn’t too expensive.
Winners and Marshalls had EVERYTHING we needed. We got all the décor there, some throws and pillows for the sofa, there were paintings, lights and furniture if we needed as well.
Food was abundant as well. I always tend to forget that there’s food sold at Winners but we found a bunch of chips, popcorn, pasta, and Holiday wrapped chocolates.
Also, we got these gorgeous present boxes because I didn’t see us having anytime to wrap the gifts so this was an easy but great alternative. The reason I chose silver trees was to save time from buying ornaments and decorating the tree (another reason why having a set theme in place would help).
I even managed to find an outfit that was perfect for the night at WINNERS! Can’t get more ‘holiday season’ than sequins, amiright?
Some items which are a sure win to create a home-y Holiday Party vibe:
- Fairy lights
- Mini Christmas Tree (Alternative: Silver ones)
- Soft Throws
Also, I made sure that we didn’t end up spending over 3 hours shopping to make time
for cooking and decorating the home!
Go with the potluck idea for food and BYOB
This is a key component depending on the theme you’ve decided to go with. If you have a larger group of guests and have a short time frame to get food ready, asking everyone to participate in a potluck dinner will not only make it fun as they’ll be actively involved, but also help alleviate stress in making sure everyone is fed.
Some of our guests brought food, but we also had a large lasagna (easy to make), a giant salad (also easy to make) and bottles of wine a flowin!
Pick a couple main view points for the décor ‘anchors’
What I mean by décor ‘anchors’ are the points in your home where you want your guest’s eyes to be drawn to. I found this an important element to ensure that when I was in a rush to decorate the apartment, I could focus on a couple sections of the house and not end up creating a big mess everywhere.
For our party, I chose the beautiful fountain table in the centre of the home for the main décor items, as well as the back section for alcohol and a corner of the room by the lights for gifts and our silver trees.
Lastly, it also guides the guests on where to take photos! Hence, my next tip below!
Last minute makeshift photo booth ideas
This isn’t necessary for all parties but because I already have lighting kits at home, I decided it would be fun if guests could take photos during the party. So I put up my new ring light and it was a hit!
If you don’t have access to lighting equipment and want to encourage guests to take photos, get creative with the fairy lights and wrap them around shoulders or put them close by to illuminate the shot.
Have Fun and celebrate the holiday season!
Wine and dine is always great at a party but we also found a ton of board games at WINNERS and Marshalls that would be perfect to get everyone involved and having fun. We decided on the classic Gingerbread house and Secret Santa is also a fun alternative. We realised that we weren’t able to get presents for everybody and so having Secret Santa again meant that everyone could actively be involved and it made it a whole lot more fun.
Thanks for sitting through this long post guys but honestly, these are great tips (not biased haha) if you want to host a Holiday Party but don’t have a lot of time to do so! All the items you see here are all from WINNERS and Marshalls Canada (with the exception of the lasagna and salad).
Want to watch the challenge on video? Click PLAY above!
If you are on a tight budget and still want to host a bangin’ party, you can find my post last year on the Five Tips to Host a Party on a Budget, also in partnership with Winners and Marshalls : http://www.otisamantha.com/5-tips-host-holiday-party-budget/
Let me know if you have any questions about the party planning process in the comments below and Happy Holidays!
Video – That Guy You Knowww
Photo – Elbert Bae