The Basics of Holiday Party Planning

Throughout the year, there are many opportunities to host holiday parties for friends and family. What could be a better way to show those closest to us how much we appreciate them. Holiday party planning takes a bit of preparation, so let’s get started.

First, when it comes to which holiday might be best for hosting a large get together, you have lots of choices, depending on your schedule and what type of party you would like to throw.

Different holidays traditionally include different types of events. For example, 4th of July or Memorial Day parties are usually outdoors, such as a barbecue, pool party or picnic at a local park.

Thanksgiving parties are typically dinner parties, Christmas parties are cocktail or reception type parties, while New Year’s Eve run the gamut of anything from dinner parties to theme parties.

Planning a holiday party is similar to planning any other type of social event. The first step is always deciding on a budget. The budget determines how many people you can host and the menu options.

Once the budget is set, next is the guest list. When making the guest list, consider both the space available for the event and if there are enough tables and chairs for everyone. Renting additional tables, chairs, linens or even plates and glassware is always an option, but do so in advance to avoid any last minute scrambling for supplies.

One of the main differences with a holiday party is usually there are other activities or celebrations going on around the same time which will require your attention. For example, during the Christmas season additional tasks might include holiday decorating, shopping for presents and other traditional Christmas activates, all in additional to your holiday party planning. If you find you’re running short on time, you can always hire someone to assist you in anything from housekeeping to catering to even personal shopping.

Holiday parties can be anything from a casual potluck or pizza party to a grand, sit down dinner. The traditional approach is to purchase party supplies, such as decorations, to match the holiday, however if you’re feeling adventurous, add a unique theme to your party. The 4th of July barbeque becomes a day in the old west or Valentine’s Day could take on the theme from a romantic classic film such as “Casablanca.” Incorporate the theme into the invitations, music, food, decorations and even ask to guest to dress in corresponding attire.

Parties are a great time to relax and enjoy life. The best holiday parties always involve a little creativity, good food and the company of those closest to you. So next holiday, take a little extra time to celebrate by throwing a fabulous party.

Earth Savvy Ways To Keep The Joy In And The Waste Out of Your Christmas Holiday Celebration

Here we are again in the midst of the Christmas holiday season and the rush is on for the right gifts, festive decorations for the home, food for the holiday table, and outfits for holiday parties. It is also the time of year for countless published statistics on holiday waste, along with articles and snippets about keeping the Christmas holiday green. So at the expense of sounding mundane, keeping Christmas green lessens the negative impact on our environment and provides a positive example for those loving Christmas the most… children. Keeping an eco-friendly balance on the Christmas holiday season doesn’t have to take the joy out of the celebrations and shouldn’t take much effort to accomplish.

A large portion of holiday waste is product packaging. Opting to buy local greatly decreases the amount of packaging needed. Shopping your local stores with re-usable bags eliminates the use of plastic bags or paper bags otherwise needed to get items home. One step better is to use your re-usable bags and shop a local farmer’s market or craft fairs as chosen items are not in commercial packaging. Gift wrapping too is a consideration in excessive product packing. Rather than wrapping gifts in newly purchased gift wrap, opt for no wrappings and just tie up with natural hemp or flax string, pop in a re-usable bag, or use items around the house that can be recycled. Pieces of fabric like old sheets or pillow cases, newsprint, or old maps, decorated with items like old buttons or ribbon, make interesting gift wrap and support the effort of saving our forests. Plus, kids are so creative and will have fun making their own wrappings. If wrappings are bought, purchase from an eco-friendly store wrapping paper made from recycled paper or sustainable fibers such as hemp.

Plastic has a huge negative impact on the environment and the more we can keep out of landfills the better. Avoid Christmas decorations and gifts made from new plastic or that use any kind of petroleum. There are many more eco-friendly options available. Decorating with ornaments made from recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds can be planted after the holidays; holiday eco home decor like recycled glass serving trays and dishes add elegance to holiday entertaining while eliminating stress to the environment resulting from new glass production; natural fragrance soy wax candles avoid petroleum, support the American Farmer, and bring a soft holiday glow to any room. Already in possession of a lot of holiday stuff? Don’t toss it just to buy new! Instead get creative and re-use or up-cycle.

Gift giving is the fun part of the holiday season and if you choose wisely you can keep it earth friendly. BPA free recycled plastic toys will bring delight to any child while being safe for their health and the health of the environment; garden boxes with seed paper to plant after the holidays, or live plants, add natural life to outdoor and indoor spaces; and natural skin care products void of the chemicals and preservatives that contaminate waterways, are perfect earth savvy gifts. Consider too, holiday gift giving doesn’t have to be about things, it can be a certificate for an outing or get together, or a promise to help with a chore.

Nothing seems to be in more overabundance during the holidays than food. It is a large part of the holiday season and provides comfort and enjoyment as we sit with family and friends. Take an account of past holiday feasts and you’re sure to admit you can reduce the amount of food on your menu. Fruit, bread, and dairy products are the most common items that get thrown out, so these are a good place to start. If you find that once again you have made an entirely too much food, take it to a food shelter! Feeding the hungry is soul warming, especially during the holiday season, and sets a good example for children. Scraps left from plates can be used to feed animals or added to the compost pile. When shopping for your holiday meal, remember to buy local to avoid excessive packaging, cut down on shipping and fuel costs, and support your local farmers. And for goodness sake, re-usable tableware is the way to go to keep things eco-friendly with the added benefit of a shared family activity… dish duty!

Putting on ‘the Ritz’ is a fun part of the holiday season, but fast fashion items do so much damage to the environment and in many cases are not considerate of workers. Responsible fashion items that are Fair Trade, made from organic and sustainable fibers, or are recycled or up-cycled are considerate of our delicate environment and factory workers. Organic growing methods prohibit the use of any chemicals providing a pure product for consumers with no damage to the environment. Fair Trade items take into account the workers and assure factory conditions are up to par and fair wages are received. For eco-friendly holiday fashions, shop consignment stores for recycled fashions, hold clothes swaps, or re-work a fashion from your closet to minimize negative environmental impact. If not handy, on-line stores offering organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing from green manufactures are the best place to shop holiday fashions. Adhering to green standards for manufacturing, packaging, and shipping, the offered products have a lower carbon footprint.

The Christmas holiday season is a joyous time to spend with family and friends. Just a little bit of thought and consideration toward reducing waste, lowering your carbon footprint, and giving to those less fortunate, sets a good example for children and reduces the negative impact on our environment. So this holiday season as you rush around for decorations, holiday gifts, and party attire, pause to give thought on how lucky we are to have all that Mother Nature offers and plan to put in a little effort to keep it green.

Wellness Holidays – Relax, Pamper & Rejuvenate

Wellness holidays are becoming more popular compared to traditional sightseeing & shopping holidays as people are recognizing the importance of taking care of their health as our society becomes more stressed, more polluted & our bodies suffer and become more susceptible to diseases.

Feeling stressed, tired, lethargic or in need of some pampering & rejuvenation? Then consider taking a wellness holiday for your next break. Wellness holidays such as Detox holidays, Spa Holidays & Yoga Holidays are becoming more popular than your traditional sightseeing & shopping holidays as people are starting to recognize the importance of taking care of themselves both mentally & physically especially as our society becomes more stressed, more polluted & our bodies suffer & become more susceptible to diseases such as H1N1.

Detox Holidays
Due to the effects of modernization our environment has become increasingly polluted with toxins and harmful substances. The air we breathe is polluted with emissions from cars, factories and cigarette smoke, the food we ingest is becoming more processed containing additives & chemicals, household & personal care products more often than not contain toxic chemicals.

The colon is like the natural sewerage system of your body and if these toxins in the colon build up over time, they putrefy, ferment and are absorbed through the porous walls into your bloodstream. These toxins can overload the organs of the body which can cause the gradual weakening of our immunity system leading to sickness, disease and accelerated aging. Symptoms such as weight gain, lack of energy, constipation/diarrhea, protruding abdomen, fatigue, allergies, and poor digestion could be signs that there are too much toxins in the body.

One thing we can do to help rid our body of these damaging substances and improve our immunity system is to undergo regular detoxification cleansing monthly, quarterly or yearly by simply taking a Detox holiday. A Detox holiday usually ranges from as little as 3 days to up to 14 days depending on individual preference. Detox holidays program vary from a juice fasting program to a raw foods program to a program where light meals are served. They usually consist of colon hydrotherapy or colema sessions, supplements, massages, yoga classes & broth soups providing a very comprehensive program to help the body cleanse itself. The key to a Detox program is to cleanse the colon & this can be done either through a self-administered colema or a colon hydrotherapy session whereby a gentle flow of water is used to flush the colon to remove built up toxins and intestinal “plague” facilitating a healthier colon and digestive system.

The benefits of a Detox are plenty such as weight loss, clearer & more radiant skin, improved blood circulation, increased metabolism, healthier digestion, regularity of bowel movements & improved energy levels. A Detox Holiday is definitely one where you will go away feeling that you have done something good for your body and your health!

Spa Holidays
Spa holidays provide a time for you to relax, pamper & re-energize yourself with massages, body treatments & healthy spa cuisine, an experience that will leave you feeling & looking renewed & revitalized. Due to our work schedule we hardly take the time to treat our bodies nicely or just relax. By going on a spa holiday you will be able to indulge yourself in a wide array of massages, facial treatments, body wraps & scrubs to give your body the attention it deserves. You will be spoilt for choice with the array of treatments out there such as Ayurvedic Treatments, Balinese Treatments, Thai Massages, Massages or treatments involving chocolate, gold, wine and even massages using jade pieces.

Yoga Holidays
As more and more people realize the benefits of yoga affecting the body physically, mentally & emotionally yoga holidays are becoming popular where one can go on a holiday & yet continue practicing their yoga. These holidays are not just limited to yogis but also to the general beginner and usually comprise of 2 classes of yoga a day, spa cuisine meals, massages combined with some sightseeing or time on the beach.