While summer tends to be the favorite time for hosting get-togethers thanks to the warm weather and sunshine, don’t take for granted the cozy, festive vibe that the winter season can offer. Whether you are hosting a birthday party or a holiday celebration, here are eight tips and tricks to help you better set the mood for your next winter get-together. But, as a warning, your guests may not ever want to leave the party!
Lighting can make a huge impact when setting the mood. Depending on the party vibe you are looking to achieve, you may want more or less lighting. Increased lighting contributes to feelings of energy and activity; therefore, if you are hoping for a more energetic party where you want lots of fun and chit-chat, find ways to add lighting to the room. Fun, wintery ways of doing this may include adding string lights or table lamps. On the other hand, if you are looking to achieve a romantic, cozy feel, then try dimming your overhead lighting and using candles, lanterns, and your fireplace for light instead.
Put on Good Music
What is a party without music? Similar to lighting, you will want to choose your music carefully to match the feel of the party. So, if you are throwing a holiday get-together with bubbly and games, find some upbeat holiday music to liven up the room. If you are hosting an elegant dinner party, play some instrumental music as a cozy backdrop to your table conversation.
No matter what music you choose, try to find a way to play your music on a good quality speaker rather than your phone’s speaker. Or, if you are wanting to add a luxurious touch to your party, you can hire a seasoned pianist in the area to play live instrumental music in your own home. There are often youth, college students, or retirees with less expensive rates looking for opportunities like this around the holiday season.
Provide Warm Food and Drinks
One of the best parts of the winter season is that it begs for all those cozy, comfort foods! But with so many options to choose from, what are the best warm foods for a winter party? One perfect idea is to set up a hot drink bar where guests can make themselves their favorite beverages, just to their liking. Provide different drink types—like teas, hot cocoa, and coffee—and toppings, like marshmallows, candy canes, and creamers. As for food, some party favorites that appease every palate include simmering soups, fresh-from-the-oven cookies, warm cheese dips, and anything wrapped in bacon.
Light the Fireplace
Another great thing about wintertime is that it gives you every excuse to light your fireplace! A crackling fire in the background of your winter party provides the perfect cozy aesthetic, and it keeps your guests warm too. But if it has been a while since you have used your fireplace, you may need to spend some time preparing it for guests. A fireplace requires maintenance to keep clean and run efficiently. So, don’t forget to remove any soot, ashes, or buildup from last winter, and check on the actual chimney and cap as well.
Offer Ways to Get Warm
If you are living in a cold climate, it is imperative that you ensure that your guests are warm enough. After all, uncomfortable guests don’t stay at parties for long! One cute way of doing this is to provide throw blankets for guests to use. Not only will the throw blankets help keep partygoers warm, but they also provide a nice, cozy touch to your celebration—especially if their design matches the party theme. Another great way to keep guests warm is by providing warm drinks for them to sip on throughout the night. A festive way of doing this is by setting up a little hot drink bar for guests to make their favorite beverage.
Don’t Forget Some Wintery Scents
The human nose has a powerful connection to the brain. Maybe you have experienced this when a certain smell elicited a very specific memory or feeling—like the smell of rain or homemade cookies baking in the oven. Set the perfect mood for your winter party by choosing a festive scent that would remind any partygoer of their favorite winter memory. Some great wintery scents to consider include more natural scents, like pine or cedar, or more festive scents, like clove or brown sugar.
Add a Bit of Hygge
Hygge (pronounced like “hoo-gah”) is a Danish word that represents all things cozy, warm, and pleasurable—an important notion within Nordic tradition. Set the right tone for your winter party by incorporating elements of hygge into your get-together. Classic hygge elements include lots of candles, baked goodies, cozy soups, old-fashioned board games, vinyl records, and time spent with loved ones. Chase away the winter blues with cozy, hygge-approved party decorations like festive books, faux fur throw pillows, and fairy lights.
Incorporate Some Winter Fun
It can be a challenge thinking of fun activities to do at a winter party—after all, you don’t get the benefits of the summer heat. But there are loads of fun winter games to play or activities to do that will set the right mood for a fun, energetic, family-friendly party! Some kid favorites include making paper snowflakes, decorating cookies, or even having a snowball fight outside. If you are looking for some winter activities for adults, try building gingerbread houses, hosting a white elephant gift exchange, chilling in the hot tub, or putting on a gushy movie.
The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of parties! By incorporating these tips and tricks—as well as honing in on your inner creativity—you can host a get-together that will be remembered for years (in a good way). Just don’t forget to implement the basics of every winter party: warmth, food, lighting, and festivity. Keep your guests comfortable and happy throughout the night with hot drinks, ways to get warm, and fun activities to pass the time. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun yourself!
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