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Holiday Party Planning Simplified

Posted on: December 16th, 2013 by Leah No Comments

The season is upon us for celebrating which means lots of parties, libations and festive food.  If you are hosting a holiday get-together or a soiree to ring in the new year, here are a few tips to help with your party planning.


By now you’re home is likely already decorated for the holidays but, if not, don’t overdo it before your party.  Your guests are coming to see you and enjoy your company and won’t be spending much time in front of your Christmas tree.  If you’re planning to serve a sit down dinner, spend your energy decorating the table with a few festive items.  A small topiary or rosemary tree looks great strung with lights and placed on your table or outside your front door.  Many of our local nurseries carry these trees this time of year.  I recently bought one at The Banyan Tree at 81197 Overseas Highway in Islamorada and had it potted for under $100.

Festive Drinks

The drinks served at your soiree are as important as the food.  The rule of thumb when considering what to purchase is 50% will drink wine, 30% will drink beer and 20% will drink mixed drinks.  You can simplify your bar by only serving beer and wine, or instead of a full bar,  offer a signature drink such as eggnog or pomegranate martinis.  Not only are signature drinks more festive but they’ll also save you money so that you’re not having to purchase a full bar of liquors and mixers that may not be used.  And for your New Year’s Eve festivities don’t forget the champagne.  There is nothing more fabulous than ringing in the New Year with some bubbly.   For something different, offer a DIY champagne bar with fruit juices including orange and pomegranate and fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

The best time to buy your holiday party libations is during sales.  Most local liquor stores offer one day a week with discounts up to 30% on everything in the store.  On Tuesdays, stock up for your holiday soiree at the Green Turtle Wine & Spirits at 81219 Overseas Highway in Islamorada for a great discount.

Create a menu and Make a list

When deciding on the menu for your holiday party, be sure to make a very good list of all the ingredients you’ll need and preparation times needed for each recipe.  Many recipes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight to save you on preparation time the day of the party.  There is nothing worse than starting to cook only to realize you forgot to buy half the ingredients and a good list prior to shopping will ensure this doesn’t happen to you.  Consider a non-traditional menu for your gathering with a Florida Keys themed menu including shrimp, lobster, crab claws and sushi.  Also, hosting a party at a non-traditional time such as brunch can be a lot of fun.  A lobster frittata and mimosa bar will provide more than enough to satiate your guests.

Simplify your party planning

Simplify your hosting responsibilities by getting a little help from a caterer.  Hiring a bartender or server  can make all the difference between you enjoying or working at your party.  They will ensure all your guests are served and will also help you clean up after the last guests have left.  Consider also having a caterer provide all the food for your event.  The holidays are already busy and stressful,  and parties should be fun.  Megan Hylton, the catering manager with Catering by Green Turtle and Kaiyo Grill is an expert at planning amazing events your guests will remember.  She’ll help you come up with a theme, create a mouth watering menu and will make sure you and your guests have a fabulous time.  Contact Megan by phone 305.393.6215 or email meganh@greenturtleinn.com for more information.


Enjoy your next gathering by hiring a caterer such as Catering by Green Turtle and Kaiyo Grill

Enjoy your next gathering by hiring a caterer such as Catering by Green Turtle and Kaiyo Grill