How to get people to commit to your holiday party

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By Sandy Coughlin
Oregon author, blogger, entertainer
Reluctant Entertainer

Through my 31-Days to Stress-Free Entertaining series, one reader had a good point when she asked me if there is a “good time” to have a party?

With the holidays here now, people are really busy. I know, because we’ve had a hard time getting some dates on the calendar with our friends.

For a group event, do you just pick a date, and then pray that everyone can make it?

Dinner Dates – one family
Choosing a dinner date for one family is easy. Pick 3 dates that work for you, and then give the family the options and let them pick what works for them.

Dinner Dates – several families
Again, pick several dates that work for you. It may take several emails or calls to nail down “the date,” but most the time it all comes together.

Party Dates – event for many
I’ve chosen a date, and then verified with a handful of people, asking if they could make it. Once I knew that it worked for a few people, I go ahead with the additional invitations. Some will make it, some won’t. It’s hard to find a date that works for everyone when you’re hosting a larger group.


My advice for the holidays is to choose a date EARLY, even sending out a “Save the Date” email.

I recently had a dinner party at my house that required that I know the exact attendance. I sent out an email early, with the date, and then later with all of the details. I heard back within days from those who would be attending and it all worked out beautifully.

It’s time to start thinking and planning, if you haven’t already.

Besides Thanksgiving, will you be hosting any dinners or parties in the next couple of months?

(For Thanksgiving, I’m posting a 4-part series on a Stress-Free Thanksgiving! Next week join me for Week 3. (Here is Week 1 and Week 2.) )