Holiday party prep 101: music, food and entertainment

It’s a magical time of year, and everyone wants to get together to celebrate. But in order for there to be a party, there has to be a host. That’s where you come in. Check out these tips to learn how expert planners make full use of technology to plan tasks, heighten food quality and make an event go smoothly, from list-making to cleanup.

Food planning

Your smartphone can help you plan your menu, build your shopping list, and even pair wines and beverages. You can also use it to organize recipes, or convert measurements from grams to ounces and vice versa.

Preparation & service

Before the day of the event, consider prepping and staging—pull out wine and cocktail glasses, chop ingredients and set up platters so you have an idea of where they’ll go for the party. If you have kids, invite them to position namecards on the table and decorate alongside you. The pre-party offers an opportunity for togetherness and teamwork, and will help you check off items on your list without stress.

Playlists

Your digital devices can provide the soundtrack for your event with a well-chosen holiday playlist that blends various artists, and mixes quiet ballads with up-tempo holiday songs. Use your TV as an additional entertainment source, especially if your party coincides with a sporting event that some of your guests will be following on their smartphones.

Cleanup

If you're accustomed to cleaning your dishes before you wash them, let your dishwasher do its work and save energy in the process. Today's appliances knock out food residue with no more than a quick scrape before you place plates, flatware and utensils in flexible racks for a quiet wash cycle. You can tidy up your range after the party ends, too, with a steam-cleaning cycle that banishes light soil more quickly than initiating a full-fledged self-cleaning. Once your kitchen's back in order, break out the HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner to put your floors back to rights.

Photo Credits: Demand Media/studioD

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