From coordinating with your big family to prepping the food, your to-do list is probably a mile long this time of year! With a packed social calendar, it’s easy to let the craziness of the season take over. We have a few tricks up our sleeve to help keep your stress levels down and elevate your hosting skills. Here’s our advice on how to host a stress-free holiday party:

Do the Prep Work

 From potatoes to pies, certain menu items can be prepared days or weeks ahead of time. Do all of the work ahead of time so, on the day of, all you’re left with is a few menu items to cook and cocktails to pour. No-brainer in our opinion!


Stick to What You Know

We’re saying this from experience…the holidays just aren’t the time to get creative with different menu items. If you do want to add something new to the menu, make sure to give yourself an ample amount of time to test the recipe and the final product.


Stick to a List

Around this time of year, we think it’s A-OK to make a list for just about everything. Chores around the house, what you need to pick up from the grocery store, who’s attending your Christmas party…and those are three separate lists right there!


Make it Your Own

Just because your mom and grandma used to do things a certain way, it doesn’t mean you can’t start a tradition or two of your own. You’re the host, so you do what’s easiest for you and we’re sure everyone will be thrilled to be apart of something new.


Set-up an Open Bar

Create a self-serve cocktail bar, fully equipped with mixers (juice, soda), liquor, beer and wine. This way, you can enjoy your party instead of making sure everyone has a full glass. The same goes for food. Leave appetizers around your home and allow guests to serve themselves buffet-style.


Make Time for Yourself

Don’t forget to eat the food you’ve prepared and pour yourself a drink! The only way to be a great host is to keep your spirits high and your stomach full.


Know what to DIY and What to Buy

Sometimes you just have to admit that the project you saw on Pinterest is going to be more work than it looks! We all like to think our DIY decor skills are top-notch, but that’s not always the reality. Decide what decorations are worth the time and money to make yourself, and what you should just go out and purchase.


Let Marker 32 Do the Work

If you really want to keep the holidays stress free, plan your party in Marker 32’s private dining space. With fabulous food, an amazing bar and an incomparable view, there’s something for everyone at Marker 32.

Come Dine With Us


Marker 32 is one of Jacksonville’s top restaurants, with a seasonal menu and the freshest ingredients available. Come celebrate the holiday season with us. We can’t wait to see you!