During our tenure as hosts at the Palmer House Inn, Bill and I have developed a routine for planning a memorable holiday party at, the “Big House” as we affectionately refer to the main inn building. The Inn sparkles during the holiday season and it comes alive with good cheer during a party.
- Start planning early.
The two month holiday season is usually jam-packed with activities for most people and can be a stressful time. Be sure to mail your “Save the Date” cards well in advance. Advanced planning lets the guests mark their calendars for your event and will be able to plan other activities accordingly. We usually try to plan our parties early in the season.
Many folks shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Bill and I decorate the house. I like to call that time, “The day of a thousand stairs.” The decorations are stored on the fourth floor or the attic of the big house. They have to be brought down to the third level and distributed throughout the house. I get plenty of exercise walking up and down those stairs… no worries about the extra treats I had at Thanksgiving. We know where each item goes and what items are stored away during this time of year to make room for the holiday decorations.
- Let people know the recommended attire.
This also is a stress reliever. Frequently party guests appreciate knowing the dress code guidelines beforehand. This also sets a mood and an expectation for the event. A few key word suggestions to descried attire might be: festive, casual or cocktail.
Whatever type of dress you choose, make it something you are excited about and comfortable with. A happy host’s joy is infectious.
- Be sure to offer a few dishes for different dietary requirements.
These days there are many people with food allergies and preferences. There seem to be an increasing number of people who eat gluten-free. Be sure that there are several offerings that fall into that category. In addition, some people have nut allergies and then there are the vegans, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant. In your planning try to have at least one offering that falls into each category. In so far as beverages are concerned, it is best to have a good variety. For some of our larger gatherings we’ve hired a mixologist. That person relieves us of drink serving task and allows us to concentrate on being hosts. A selection of wine and beer is wise to have on hand in addition to juices, soft drinks and don’t forget the ice and bottled water. The last bit of advice that we have in regard to food and beverages is, be sure to prepare plenty to go around.
- This is the most important bit of advice of all. Relax and enjoy the guests and the delightful event that you have created.
Some more memorable holiday party planning tips
- Getting Ready for the Holidays
- A Cape Cod Holiday Walk
- Plan a Memorable Holiday Party
- 8 Tips for Serving a Holiday Feast
- 5 Crowd Pleasing Holiday Breakfasts
- Holidays by the Sea Weekend
While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of festivities on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.