Category: party planning (3)

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People talk about going home for the holidays, but it’s often the traditions of the holidays that create a home wherever you are. RE/MAX is taking a look at things that make a house a home and how each one can add to your seasonal celebration.

Eat, drink and be tacky with your closest friends by hosting an ugly holiday sweater party. No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, there’s a sweater for you. So hit the thrift store, the attic or one of the online stores and start planning. Here are a few ideas:

1. Make an impression with your invite

Feature yourself – in your ugly sweater, of course – on a paper or online invitation (i.e. Paperless Post) have a whole section of pre-made options to choose from).

2. Deck the halls

It’s not just about the sweater. Raid the dollar store or thrift store for the most garish holiday decorations you can find and go nuts. Wrap your doors and fridge in loud holiday paper and ribbon, transform a room with tinsel and don’t forget the bathroom. Remember, you’re aiming for over-the-top, so items like ‘fun toilet seat cover’ are just a start.

3. Give awards

Hand out prizes in different categories, like Loudest Sweater (with jingle bells!), Scariest Sweater and Cutest Sweater. Mini versions of the holiday’s tackiest dessert – fruitcake – make great trophies.

4. Go retro with refreshments

Authentic ugly holiday sweaters date back to the ’80s (and maybe earlier), so focus on that era for food and drink inspiration: a retro wreath of pigs in blankets, topped with a bow; red and green cups of Jello (with your favourite holiday spirits) stacked in a Christmas tree-shaped tower; and so on.

5. Holiday pictures

Make a giant frame from cardboard and tin foil, accent it with Christmas lights and mistletoe and you’ve got an irresistible photo prop to commemorate the evening with. If you happen to have old holiday pictures of you and your family sporting ugly sweaters, be sure to display them.

Do you have the will to party but lack the space? Maybe Santa will bring you a bigger house for the holidays. If he doesn’t come through, a RE/MAX agent can help. Find one here.

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The holiday seasons means a flurry of activities and family time. Here are some easy ways to make sure you and your guests are comfortable through it all. 

1. Sticky-roll the furniture. Have your pets been sneaking a nap on the couch when you’re not looking? Make sure to de-fur the furniture before anyone has to sleep on it.

2. Test your air mattresses for holes. There’s nothing worse than falling asleep on an air mattress and waking up on a deflated tarp on the floor. 

3. Pile kids into one room. They’ll love feeling like they’re at a sleepover.

4. Gather all of your old phone chargers. It’s one of the easiest things for travellers to forget to pack. Have your old chargers on hand and you may save a guest a trip to the store. 

5. Make the Wi-Fi password readily accessible.  An easy way to do this is to print out the internet information on a notecard for each guest room.

6. Designate a snack and beverage hub. To avoid people tripping over each other at the fridge and during crucial food-prep times, set up a station away from the kitchen – maybe in the study – where guests can grab coffee and a bagel (or the like!) at their leisure.

7. Stock all the bathrooms.  Everyone will feel better having all the bathroom essentials on-hand, including towels and washcloths, common toiletries, toilet paper, and, of course, a toilet brush and plunger. No one wants to announce they need a plunger!

8. Let them pitch in.  Most guests want to help out somehow. Have everyone pick a regular task they’re willing to be responsible for, like walking the dogs, taking out the trash, making breakfast or doing the dinner dishes.

9. Relax and enjoy yourself! Set the tone for your guests. 
Do your best to look past the chaos and make the most of the time with family and friends.

An extra bedroom, closet or bathroom can go a long way around the holidays. Is it time you had more space?  Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help you find the right place for you.

~ RE/MAX Blog 

remax-blog-thanksgiving

In recent years it’s become a trend for friends who stay in town to gather together for Thanksgiving, where in the past it has been a traditionally a family affair. If you can’t make it home for Turkey Day, consider gathering your crew for a “Friendsgiving” meal.  Here are a few tips:

1. Invite early
Send an invitation (electronic or stamped) to your friends before the feast to be sure they can join you. However, always make room for last-minute guests – it’s Thanksgiving so the more the merrier! 

2. Delegate
As host, etiquette dictates that you provide the turkey and gravy (and in some homes, a special cocktail for the occasion). Your guests can provide everything else potluck style. An online list can help your friends divide up dishes to avoid any repeats.

3. Empty your fridge
It’s a good excuse to start feasting before the festivities. You’ll need room in your fridge and freezer on the day of the party and afterwards, for all those leftovers.

4. Make a schedule
Breaking down the event into small tasks you can schedule (some even before the big day, like setting the table the night before) reduces the stress of hosting duties. Follow your steps, stick to the timeline and have fun.

5. Don’t forget the gratitude
Set out a bowl and index cards during appetizers and have guests list things they’re grateful for – sincere or silly. Between dinner and dessert, take turns reading the cards out loud.  And remember to make this task – easy and fun! For example, three of the staff from RE/MAX Caldwell Agencies wanted to pass along why they are “thankful”:
   “I’m thankful for time with my grandkids” – Joanne Kitt
   “I’m thankful for family and friends” – Rea Jarrett
   “I’m thankful for Katie being home for the weekend” – Lauriss Caldwell

Looking for a new home in a friendly neighborhood? Find a local RE/MAX agent who can help you find the perfect place.

Story by RE/MAX.