Hosting a get together like an open house can be a pretty intimidating prospect to those of us who aren’t used to entertaining all the time. But having an open house during the holiday season makes it much easier because a lot of the work, especially planning, has already been done for you. Because it’s the holidays, people already know what to expect theme-wise so you don’t have to wrack your brain trying to come up with a catchy, creative theme. There are still some critical things you’ll have to do, though, so we offer these creative holiday open house ideas in Portland.
Put Guests First by Keeping it Casual
You certainly don’t want your Portland holiday open house to be chaotic, but you don’t want it to be overly structured and stifling either. Casual is the feeling you should strive for so that guests don’t feel rushed and do feel welcome. Relaxing your scheduled timetable a little will give you more flexibility in adjusting the changing needs and dynamics of your guests.
Here a few ways you can put guests first and keep it casual:
- Schedule your holiday open house early in the holiday season so that it won’t conflict with other holiday obligations.
- If you plan to have many guests, strategize food and beverages and orchestrate parking.
- Get the word out early and keep a record of contacts to avoid surprises and embarrassments.
- Let guests know the general time frame and whether you will be serving a meal.
- Be sure to include everyone, even children of guests who come along. Provide age-appropriate activities and foods.
Have a Plan Too
Yes, you want to keep your holiday open house casual and avoid too much structure, but you still need to do some planning. Your guests will be arriving and departing and drifting from room to room over a period a few or maybe several hours, and it will take some planning to keep that from degenerating into total chaos. So here’s what you can do:
- Have people specifically designated to welcome new arrivals
- Have a designated location for coats and other outerwear
- Clear a path to and through high-traffic areas like bathrooms
- Put away in a safe place any delicate or breakable items
Plan the Food Well
For an open house, but especially a Portland holiday open house, food is one of the top considerations. Certainly, it needs to be good and attractively presented, but simple is usually best. Also, keep in mind that people will be mixing and mingling and moving all around, so it’s best not to have all the food concentrated in one single area. To keep traffic moving, then, place food and refreshments in several areas throughout your house. And as for the food itself, mess-less, easy-to-eat finger foods are a good choice. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just something to put guests in a good, friendly, convivial mood. And more important than the food is your cheery, enthusiastic holiday attitude.
Let an Agent Help You Make it More Than a Party
For your Portland holiday open house, you certainly do want to create a cheerful, inviting atmosphere with holiday sights, sounds, and scents. But it needs to have the appearance of a professionally done job as well. Your Portland real estate agent can be a great help here. Your agent will know exactly what it takes to put your visitors in a receptive, buying mood. Your agent will be able to draw on her years of experience assisting with successful open houses.