The holidays are a special time of year to spend with family and friends, celebrating the season with cheer. However, planning a holiday celebration can be stressful since there are so many components that go into making a holiday dinner or party a success.
Luckily, there are several online resources that can help you plan a stress-free holiday celebration. We’ve rounded up some of the best online party planning tools to help you enjoy this holiday season.
Set Your Holiday Party Budget
The first step in planning a holiday gathering is setting your budget. Deciding on your budget will help determine how many guests you will be hosting, along with how much food and drink to serve. Evite.com offers a party budget estimator tool that will help you plan for how much you can expect to spend on a party based on the number of guests, party duration and the types of food and drink to be served – all essential party parameters.
Invite Your Guests with Online Invitations
Once you’ve established your party criteria and set your holiday celebration budget, there are several online tools to help you spread the word about your gathering and invite your guests. Save money on postage and send out decorative online party invitations to your guests. Sites such as PaperlessPost.com, Punchbowl.com and Evite.com offer free or low-cost options for sending out professionally designed online invites for your party or dinner.
Plan Your Holiday Dinner Menu
Find recipe inspiration using popular sites like Pinterest and AllRecipes.com. AllRecipes.com even has a special section dedicated to holiday-favorite recipes — perfect for planning the menu for your holiday gathering! For recipe inspiration on the go, check out free mobile apps, such as Yummly, a recipe search and digital recipe box tool, and Food Network In the Kitchen, which provides access to thousands of the most popular recipes from popular Food Network chefs.
Plan your holiday dinner menu and grocery shopping list using one of the many free meal planning mobile apps. The Food Planner app (free on iTunes and in the Google Play store) helps holiday dinner hosts keep an integrated meal plan, grocery list and recipe collection that can sync to the cloud across multiple platforms. The Pepperplate recipe and meal planning app is the “only app for serious cooks.” The app, available for free on iTunes and Google Play, helps users manage their holiday dinner party menus, recipes and shopping lists. Pepperplate users can also share recipes with friends and family through the app, so holiday party hosts can run their menus by guests in advance of the party.
Pick a Time and Date for Your Holiday Celebration
When planning your holiday celebration, you will want to pick a time and date that will work best for the majority of your guests. Schedule a time among a large group with ease using an online scheduling tool, such as Doodle. Doodle is a free tool that simplifies the process of scheduling events and meeting times. Simply send a Doodle poll out to your guests and ask them to select a time and date. Doodle will keep track of your guests’ preferences and provide a recommended time and date for your holiday celebration.
Mix Up Holiday Drinks for Guests Using Your Mobile Phone as Your Guide
Sometimes the best bartender can be your smartphone when using one of several popular cocktail recipe apps. Mixology is a free app that is simple but comprehensive and has a database of more than 8,000 cocktail recipes for holiday party hosts to choose from. Users also can sort cocktail recipes by cocktail name and key ingredients used, and the app offers useful bartending tips and techniques.
With the help of these online holiday party planning tools, you can host a worry-free celebration and spend more time relaxing and celebrating with family and friends. From all of us here at Frontier, have a very happy holiday and New Year!