Category Archives: Holiday Parties

Holiday Turkey and Wine

This past Thanksgiving we were blessed to be invited to a dear friend’s house.  This was the first time in years that we were just able to enjoy the feast and company of friends without the messy clean-up that comes with entertaining in our own home.  I did not have to stuff the turkey or roll up my sleeves at the sink trying to get the baking pan clean.  My joy was short lived when my wife made the Thanksgiving announcement that, “Everyone is invited to our house for a big December holiday feast”.   There was a resounding cheer at the gathering from everyone at the table.  Hands were raised and voices heard to say, “We will be there”.  At the last count we had fifteen couples, my daughter, two grandkids and one obnoxious “grand-dog” called Bones.

When December rolled around, my wife started preparations immediately.  First, we had to do spring cleaning in December, which included walls, furnace registers, base boards, floors, etc.  The next step was the obligatory decorations that needed to be scattered around the house, including an ornate light display for the outside that had me untangling and hanging lights for days.  I was sent to the Party Store to rent tables, chairs and huge serving platters for the food.  My final assignment was to get “The Birds” and the wine to go with it.  I was beginning to wish we had entertained at Thanksgiving.

Before I left to do the shopping, my wife told me, “Make sure you talk to someone at the wine store so you get the right wine to compliment the turkey”.  I said, “Why didn’t you ask everyone to bring their own wine, instead of us risking that we wouldn’t buy their favorite?”  My wife raised her voice at least one octave and replied, “We are doing the entertainment so it is our responsibility not theirs and besides I want everything to be just perfect”.  I love my wife dearly and I have learned when it is best to just say, “Yes Dear”.  Before I left, I hopped on the computer and did my research so I could portray to the wine store clerk how knowledgeable I was about pairing turkey with wine.  I didn’t want to embarrass myself at the wine store.

The general consensus from the web research was for a lighter red (not over burdened with tannins) or several white wines that tended to be fruity and slightly sweeter.  Another caution, that seems well advised, is during dinner stick with wines lower in alcohol content. stated, “Save the 15 percent alcohol ‘in your face Zins’ for after dinner when it is OK for folks to go to sleep.” 

The top choices I found for red wine lovers were Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Red Zinfandel. White wine enthusiasts might enjoy a Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Beaujolais Nouveau or White Burgundy.  If some of your guests have a sweet-tooth, then try White Zinfandel or Cranberry Wine.  Save the desert wines for after the main meal when it is time to devour the pumpkin and pecan pie.

Not everyone is a wine drinker.  I also ran across some advice for people for pairing turkey with beer and cocktails.  The consensus was that a beer should be complex but not over bearing.  A good choice might be pale ale from one of the smaller breweries.  Another website suggested that for the cocktail drinkers, gin cocktails like an English Rose, Park Avenue or Verbena Martini would work.

I went to the wine store and made my selections with an air of “I know what I am doing”.  When I arrived home my wife said, “What wine did you decide on?” I smiled and told her, “One of each, a total of 12 bottles”. She exclaimed, “We won’t be able to serve all that wine at dinner!”  I responded, “I wouldn’t think of doing that.  I am going to raffle off any that we don’t serve.”  My wife grabbed her forehead and walked away stating, “What I am I going to do with you.”  I let her have the final word and started preparing the raffle tickets.

I always maintain that there are a lot of people that will tell you what wine to pair with what food.  In the end, as I always say, buy the wine you like, store wine properly in a wine refrigerator, serve it at the proper temperature and enjoy it immensely.

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Ronald Senn is currently Vice-president of Ideal Wine Coolers.  Ron served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970.  Ron graduated from the University of Arizona with BS and MS Degrees.  Ron is retired from the U.S. Forest Service after serving over 30 years.

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Partying In La Manga

La Manga as a holiday destination

Spain and all its regions seem to have a magnet for tourists; it is no wonder, considering the fact that Spain is a beautiful country, with very picturesque landscapes, cosmopolitan cities and traditional villages, always ready to entertain the tourists. La Manga, just like any other beautiful region in Spain, attracts millions of tourists every year. La Manga is a destination for everybody: the young who want to party with their friends, families with small children and old couples, who only want to relax. The seaside resort is very entertaining as there is a wide range of activities to choose from, and the nightlife suits all tastes.

Nightlife in La Manga

La Manga is suitable for any type of tourist; even Spaniards come from all over the country to La Manga because the nightlife here is very famous. If you are young and your blood runs fast through your veins, Cabo de Palos is where you should be. Cabo de Palos is a small and coquette fishing town, but just throughout the day; when night comes, it transforms into a paradise for the young due to its many dancing clubs opened until the morning. The partying option for tourists who visit La Manga with their children and for those who just want to spend some quality, relaxing time in the city, restaurants and pubs represent a very good option. Whether you prefer the international cuisine or you want to taste the traditional dishes, you’ll find everything you want in La Manga. You can even go into one of the pubs serving tapas to taste this delicious Spanish food and have a nice drink. If you want to spend a few romantic hours with your other half, hotels offer you the possibility to use their babysitting services throughout the entire night. For those who want to combine tasty food with good music and a nice surrounding atmosphere, La Manga is perfect. The restaurants situated along the esplanade offer wonderful views towards the water, and you’ll have a delicious meal in the fresh breeze, accompanied by traditional songs. When you have some extra money to spend, try your luck in one of the casinos, you’ll have a lot of fun. La Manga is the holiday destination where you can dance until the morning, take a romantic walk with the one you love, or just taste some delicious dishes. It is absolutely wonderful!

Villa holiday spain, villas calpe and villa pollensa are among the most beautiful destinations for your vacations.

Men’s Party Wear

We think of parties as generally fun social events and commonly we get invitations a couple of times during the year. It’s the norm to expect a dozen or more parties within the year, especially during peak seasons and holidays – birthday parties, batch parties, acquaintance parties, office parties, reunion parties, etc.

One of the most important things to look at is of course, the attire. “What should I wear?” is the inevitable question that every party-goer should decide,

Whether you’re a VIP or not, the dressing up part should be in no way messed up.

First, you should know exactly what kind of attire is required for the event. You usually find this important detail in your invitation. Formal events rarely miss this out. In some occasions that is not indicated otherwise, it is best to call up the organizer and confirm the attire. Your attire should be appropriate for the kind of party you’re attending.

In most parties, suits are standard for men. But not all suits are the same. Rather, not just any suit can be worn on every party. Dinner jackets and tuxedos are obviously not the same. Ultra-formal events definitely require a different suit than the casual ones.

When wearing a suit, make sure it’s the right fit – not too loose but not too tight either. It looks best that way. Otherwise, you will need to have a great deal of confidence to pull it off and it’s not about the brand, the color, or even the price.

Here’s a tip to avoid the unnecessary inconvenience. Prepare ahead of time, even if you had your suit tucked in your wardrobe. This is of course very practical if you don’t have one and you’re planning to either borrow or rent one. The bottom line is, you have to try it out in advance to make sure the suit fits you well – from the neck, shoulders, chest, and waist. Check also the sleeves and inseam.

Your sleeves’ length is one of the obvious signs of badly tailored suit. For the right fit, it should reach your wrist just below the base of your thumbs. If you have a larger waistline, wearing pleats with your trousers is recommended. It gives the illusion of a slimmer body. The end of your trousers should reach the shoes, again not too short but not to long either. Cuffs can make you look taller.

The same applies if you already own one. You may not be aware if you have grown or decrease in size and knowing this early on would give you time to have it repaired. If you’re renting out, scouting for the best fitting suit may not be easy and you might need to visit several shops to find the perfect fit.

A wrongly fitted suit will not go unnoticed from the eyes of other party-goers.

And don’t forget to wear quality. Whether you decide to buy or just rent one for the night, always choose a quality suit. The fabric’s quality is often indicated through numbers. Super 100 is by far the most popular. They’re not very heavy when worn, and they don’t easily wrinkle. For night parties, worsted wool fabric is good choice.

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A Griswold Holiday

One of the saddest, most pathetic scenes in holiday movies can be found in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase plays Clark W. Griswold, a hard working employee who, for most of the movie, is anxiously awaiting his holiday bonus. He spills the beans to all the relatives that he had already committed the funds to a new backyard pool. The movie takes a dramatic turn when instead of receiving the expected check, his company gives him a year’s subscription to the “Jelly of the Month Club.” This Griswold family crisis led to the revenge kidnapping of Clark’s boss and a predictable moral lesson.

Much has been written about holiday pressures on families, but business is not immune from holiday stress. Gifts, travel and parties all put financial and personal pressures on us. Kids are out of school for over two weeks, leaving working parents in a bind, and employees bring the personal and financial pressures with them to the workplace. They may look to their source of income to alleviate these pressures. But what about the pressures on the business itself?

Now, no one will defend “Scrooge,” “The Devil wears Prada,” SpongeBob’s “Mr. Crabs” or The Simpson’s “Mr. Burns.” They make mean and whimsical employment decisions. Most businesses, however, have good relationships with employees and as profits ebb and flow, there will be good and not-so-good years. Most smaller business owners personally bear the burdens of these changes, making payroll and covering expenses first. The workplace may be the first to go to escape with a Clark-like hope for recognition.

The American Psychological Association did a poll a few years ago that provided some insight into what causes us the most stress during the holidays. Big surprise that money was top of the list (61%), followed by gift giving, lack of time and credit card debt. Statistics from the American Management Association show that productivity drops significantly before the holiday. With more employees asking for payroll advances and time off, missing more work because of illness or family commitments, unhappiness may be more prevalent than joy during the holiday. Business owners are not immune to this situation as they themselves may be experiencing strain either personally or in the business at a time when clients and customers aren’t (or more than usually are) coming to call.

What does this mean for labor relations, Griswold and the boss? This two-way street requires understanding on both sides. If appropriate, employers should consider “lightening up” by planning for the stress employees will surely face from the home-front or frazzled customers. This may occur by making work an “oasis” from holiday frenzy. This might also come by removing expectations of high priced gift exchanges and instead add in some casual days, pot lucks, white elephant gift exchanges or even a company-wide charity project.

Employees also need to have a “pulse” on the company’s financial situation and holiday culture. They should realize that “the boss” may not be relieved of responsibilities during the holidays and may not revel in the holiday happenings at the workplace. He or she might even be more stressed as a result of a distracted or vacationing workforce. Planning ahead by making vacation requests early and assisting the management by offering suggestions on the festivities, can help. If money is needed more than time off, then volunteering to pick up an extra shift for an absent co-worker might be welcomed.

So whatever happened with Clark Griswold, the boss and the bonus? Well, the boss (albeit a captive) sees the light about the Christmas bonuses, but this is not in time to avoid the police raid. Communication is the key and if we’re lucky we have an opportunity to bring the peace to the office that we deserve and that is truly representative of the season.

Mary Louise VanNatta, CAE has received her Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.

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Top Weekend Parties Uk Europe

Weekend parties UK Europe are extremely popular especially as stag and hen parties. You can indulge in sporting, adventure or culture activities during the day and go wild clubbing at night. Here we bring you the top destinations for weekend parties UK Europe.
Barcelona has to rank amongst the top spots for weekend parties UK Europe and with good reason. The heady combination of the Mediterranean sun, Spanish sangria and beer and the exotic Catalonian nightlife will leave you asking for more. During the day, you can go golfing or go-karting or book a spa. A touch of culture gazing at the amazing Gaudi architecture will do you no harm!
Cosmopolitan London offers the ultimate indulgence for weekend parties UK Europe as you can gaze into glitzy boutiques, eat at hip restaurants and enjoy the legendary nightlife at Soho or Chelsea. Your weekend parties UK Europe can stretch to weeks or months as there is so much entertainment and culture to absorb in London.
Amsterdam offers cheap flights, ferries and trains and hotels. Add to that, the 24/7 nightlife and unrestricted entertainment and weekend parties UK Europe cannot get any better.
Berlin is competing hard to woo trendy clubbers with its innumerable and diverse clubs and its bars and adult venues make it the place for weekend parties UK Europe.

Prague still enthralls party goers and is definitely a popular choice for weekend parties UK Europe. You can enjoy sporting activities during the day and the inevitable dash of culture what with wonderful architecture at every turn of the street. Lively bars and pubs, all serving cheap beer and great food make Prague the place to be for weekend parties UK Europe.

New kids on the block, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the latest hotspots for weekend parties UK Europe. A steaming nightlife, stylish bars and exotic entertainment all set amongst beautiful medieval architecture is an experience not to be missed.

Enjoy weekend parties UK Europe to the fullest in Belgrade with its music-cafes, bars and clubs. Its parties thrown on river boats along the Danube and Sava rivers have become legendary.

Event Management Company Abhitrance provide Event Management Service in London,UK,Europe.

Christmas Parties in Newcastle

As the Christmas lights go up in Newcastle and the temperature drops even more, there is a magical elegance that touches the city. With The Rough Guide To Britain crowning Newcastle’s nightlife as the number one tourist attraction in Great Britain, it’s no surprise that the city plays host to plenty of Christmas parties during the run up to Christmas. Whether your office is based there, or you’re looking to travel to Newcastle for your company’s Christmas party, you’ll be welcomed by the bustling bright lights of this entertaining city. We take a look at some of the benefits of having your Christmas party in Newcastle.

Welcome to Newcastle

Despite being tucked away in the North east of England, Newcastle attracts plenty of visitors, especially those celebrating and it can become quite busy over the Christmas period. The Continental and Christmas markets set up around Grey’s Monument and Old Eldon Square are alwys very popular and would make a welcome attraction for you and your colleagues. The markets serve a range of unusual and unique Christmas style gifts, and delicious festive foods from around the world. Since 2002 these markets have been delighting the taste buds of visitors to Newcastle and 2009 looks set to be another successful year.

The Newcastle nightlife

Newcastle is famous for its nightlife, and the locals will brave the coldest temperatures to head out for a good time. Fortunately, Newcastle has hundreds of pubs and bars concentrated in the city centre, which means even if there’s a chill in the air, you won’t have far to travel before escaping into the warmth of the next watering hole.  There are a number of areas where you might choose to host your Christmas party, depending on the tastes and styles of personality in your group.


Here you’ll find plenty going on, so expect it to be loud with a young crowd looking to enjoy themselves. Along the Quayside on Sandhill you’ll find popular bars such as Casa Bar, Chase, The Quilted Camel and Blue. This is a popular area for students and young professionals.

Jesmond and Osborne Road

A little further north of the town centre is a main thoroughfare Osborne Road, here you’ll find a quieter scene that the Quayside if you’re looking for a nice meal and somewhere to have some drinks afterwards. Just near Grosvenor Road you’ll find a cluster of bars such as the Osborne Bar, Billabong, Berlise and Spy where you and your guests can be entertained for the evening.

Bigg Market

If you’re really looking to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the Christmas nightlife then think about heading straight to the Bigg Market area. This is near where High Bridge and Cloth Market and Groat Market meet and it is filled with pubs and clubs. Here you’ll find all your high street favourites such as Vaults and Liquid, and plenty of restaurants to choose from!

Eventa specialises in arranging Christmas Parties in the UK. Eventa caters to a range of group sizes and can accommodate for a variety of tastes

How To Throw a Healthier Holiday Office Party!

Do you ever feel like you gain ten pounds just from attending all of the office
parties and leftovers that hang out in the office for many days after the party?
Or how about all of the tempting goodies that are brought in every day during
the holiday season?

You and millions of other people, who work in offices across the country know
how difficult it is to go to work and stay away from all of the tasty food and
deserts that are filled with sugar and have no nutritional value!

How about shaking up the office with healthier holiday foods?

When your office co-workers begin to talk about this year’s holiday party,
suggest a healthier menu and take the lead by asking people to bring in healthy
dishes, that people will enjoy! You may not be able to get everyone to join in,
but if there are a few healthier dishes at your party, you, and others like you,
will have more of a choice of what to eat and less of a chance of filling up on
empty calories that will pack on the pounds! Here are some great, easy recipe
ideas for your office party:

Tomato Salsa! Mix together the following ingredients and serve chilled with
multigrain chips. This healthy snack is great tasting, and has holiday colors,
red and green: 8 to 10 tomatoes with seeds removed, 1/2 cup of chopped red
onion, 5 tablespoons of fresh parsley (1 big handful-chopped), juice from 1
fresh lime, 4 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt (to taste),
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (organic is best), and up to 1 jalepeno pepper,
chopped (optional).

The Best Tossed Salad! This is a salad that everyone will love and then prepare
for their own parties. It all has to do with adding a little bit of sweet and a
lot of crunchiness that makes this salad stand out! Mix together in a large
serving bowl, your own amounts (depending on the size of your party) of:
lettuce, sliced cucumbers, chopped carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets,
thinly sliced red onion, sliced mushrooms, chopped celery, dried cranberries
(ocean spray and others produce this sweet, red, dried fruit) and top with
herb/garlic croutons (we suggest Chatham Village croutons) Put on the table a
couple of dressings (good season’s Italian is great with this!) and parm cheese
to add to the salad.

Black Bean Dip with Multigrain chips! Mix together the following ingredients and
serve with multigrain chips: One can sweet corn, drained, one can black beans,
well rinsed and drained, one big tomato chopped, one small red onion chopped,
one tbsp minced garlic, one ripe avacado, chopped into chunks, one half cup
olive oil, one fourth cup balsamic vinegar.

By making just a few changes to your holiday office party, you will not gain
weight and you will have more energy and not as many sugar cravings at work! For
more healthy recipes and great tips and instructions on how to lose weight the
healthy way without dieting, try our FREE December Issue of our Healthy Weight
Loss Newsletter!
Happy Holidays!

Kim Volean is a health and wellness coach who works with people to improve their health through great nutrition and lifestyle changes. For great ideas on how you can lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, especially during the winter season, we invite you to order Replenish My Life’s Free Healthy Weight Loss Newsletter!

Fun Ideas For a Holiday Party

Traditional corporate holiday parties used to go little like this: Everyone gets dressed up. They show up for cocktail hour then adjourn for dinner. The Vice President of Sales stands up and tells a few jokes. Some people have a little too much to drink. There’s a little dancing, some dessert and then it’s time to go home.

The dinners at these holiday parties were often the most dreaded part of the night. Sometimes Bob was seated next to Julie and her husband Mike even though Julie spends most of her office days avoiding Bob. As soon as they are able to politely get away, Julie and Mike made a dash for it. At home Julie talks about how frustrated she is with her job and how she doesn’t feel like she connects with her co-workers.  At these dinner parties, forced smiles take place with awkward silences. Employees show up out of respect not out of any desire to spend more time with their co-workers than they needed to.

Fortunately for employees, some companies have seen the light. They are throwing more engaging and fun holiday parties. Traditional scenarios have gone out the window. Instead of a sit down dinner, some companies are throwing Casino Nights. Drinks and appetizers are served as guests visit the roulette table or the black jack table. Employees can mingle and congregate with those whose company they enjoy most.

Another idea for a fun holiday party is Prom Night. Think ball gowns, bands, and buffet tables. There might even be a Flamenco guitarist for out on the balcony where lovers of all ages escape for a breath of fresh air under the nighttime stars.

Storytellers for adults. It’s amazing to see how much adults appreciate a good story. It makes people feel young again, which is a great way to bring a fresh positive attitude to a party. Storytelling is something that will be talked about for a long time to come. Some companies invite the entire family to be part of the holiday celebration, so storytelling can be an event to engage children as well as adults.

For a more adult themed holiday celebration, think Cabaret. The glitz and the glamour will capture everyone’s attention and keep them riveted. Invite employees up to dance with the cabaret. This brings people closer together, relieves tensions and lets people relax and have fun. Bob has moves you never imagined he had.

By creating a fabulous, fun environment, employees become more social with one another. At a holiday party, the goal should be to encourage bonding and to get to know co-workers in an atmosphere outside of the job. It’s amazing how quickly people open up when they are relaxed and having a good time. The goal is to engage employees. Holiday parties should be fun. Get creative and enjoy the results.

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Sending Out Your Holiday Party Invitations

Many people believe that party invitations are old news, that there is no need to go through with this formality anymore, but that isn’t the case. If you are hosting a party for the holidays you should absolutely send out invites. Many people love to receive invitations and some people need them if they are going to hold the spot in their social calendar. Invitations are basically glorified reminders, so if you want your friends and family members to remember to come to your party invitations are a great idea.

Christmas invitations are often necessary because most people are so busy during the holidays. Everyone has a lot of little details in their mind and if they don’t actually read an invitation they may forget all about the party. Receiving something in the mail or in their email inbox will help to solidify the date and the time and the activity in their otherwise overloaded mind! If you are not sure you want to send out invitations, consider this before you scrap the idea, you may reconsider when you think about how full your own mind is of all of those little holiday details!

When considering your Christmas party invitations you have a lot of different options. If you visit your local card or stationery store you will find that there are a lot of pre-printed and pre-packaged invites. These are great if you want something quick and easy to remind everyone to come to your party. You can also find a lot of printable templates online that you can print on card stock or paper on your home printer. Another option is to have the invitations specially printed for your occasion through a printer; this is more elegant but often a lot of fun and appreciated by those who receive them. If you aren’t sure about sending out invitations, consider the e-vite. This is an electronic invite that will land in the email boxes of your invitees. As you can see, you have a lot of invitation options so you can choose the type of invite that best fits your party, your personality, and perhaps more importantly, your budget.

Your invitations should go out 12 to 15 days before the party. This will allow for plenty of time for the invitations to arrive if you are mailing and then allow for people to easily work it into their social calendar. It’s hard to anticipate how many people will actually be able to come because social calendars are often overloaded at this time of year. If you want to start planning, you might want to plan for about 50% of those invited to come. You can always adjust later, if needed.

Caitlina Fuller is a freelance writer. Christmas invitations are often necessary because most people are so busy during the holidays. When considering your Christmas party invitations you have a lot of different options. If you visit your local card or stationery store you will find that there are a lot of pre-printed and pre-packaged invites.

Preparing For Holiday Party Planning

With any holiday coming up, you may be feeling a little stressed about all the things you need to do to prepare for holiday party. It may even seem as though you just finished hosting a holiday party, and now it’s time again to start your holiday party planning all over again. Because your last holiday party was such a success, you may even feel as though your family and friends almost expect you to plan all of the holiday parties for years to come. You should take this as a compliment. If you’re good at planning holiday parties, you should do it, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of your time catering to the needs and wants of others. Holiday parties are a time for everyone to enjoy, including the host or hostess.

If you want your next holiday party to be less stressful and more enjoyable to you, there are some things that you can do differently to make your dream come true. When feeling a little overwhelmed, the best thing to do is to remember that holiday parties are supposed to be a time to share and enjoy the holidays with those that you love. Holiday parties are not meant for one person to slave for hours on end for others to take advantage of.

If the holiday requires a large meal to be prepared, ask some of your guests to chip in and bring a dish. Make a list and assign different food categories for your guests to bring on the day of the event rather than you trying to prepare everything yourself. When someone asks “What can I bring to the party,” be sure to tell them. If you don’t ask for help and be specific about what to bring, you may end up with ten bottles of wine and no vegetables, salad or dessert. Hosting a holiday party can be expensive and just the cost alone is reason enough to ask for help from your guests. Try to plan your menu with food items that can be prepared in advance and if they need to be reheated, plan for something that can be heated in the microwave just before serving. This will save oven space and if the food item can be reheated in the microwave, it will save time too.

Once the party is over, be sure to ask for some help in cleaning up. Don’t be shy to ask for help, many of your guests will be glad to get up after a large meal and work off some of those calories anyway. Many hostesses feel like they must clean their house before the party and then after the party too. This is double the work and it is quite acceptable to ask your guests to help with the clean up after the party. In fact, your guests will most likely offer to help, and this is your perfect opportunity to take them up on their offer to help clean up.

Holidays are stressful in and of themselves because everyone is busy, but holiday party planning does not need to be overly stressful and can be quite enjoyable if you welcome the help of others and don’t try to do everything yourself. For your next holiday party, start thinking of ways to get others involved with the holiday party planning and you will be amazed how much more enjoyable the planning phase and the actual party will be. Instead of stressing about all the things you must do for a successful holiday party, turn your thinking around to think about how much fun you’re going to have at your next holiday party because others are helping you to succeed.

Karen Shain is a holiday party planning expert. For more information on holiday party planning, visit