Christmas is coming and with it, the festivities of eating, drinking and being merry. As your social schedule gets busier and events become more extravagant, it can make hosting your own Christmas party a little bit daunting. But if you’re planning on hosting a Christmas party this year, worry not. Simply follow this easy guide to be the host with the most and get all of your guests into the festive spirit.
It’s time to get planning! To start, you have to ask yourself some questions to plan out your event. Are you thinking more of a dinner party or casual Christmas cocktails? Are you wanting a few close friends or every colleague and their distant relatives? Do you want to host this at home or rent a fancy venue? Whatever your ideas, jot them down so you won’t forget.
Camille Styles, party blog editor and event planner, gives advice for this stage of party planning: ‘I always keep several lists that I continually update through the planning process: a master to-do list where I highlight every task that must be accomplished, a shopping list that ensures I won’t forget any supplies, and an all-important guest list where I track contact information, dietary restrictions and RSVPs.’
One of the most important things you have to do early on, is to choose a date that is likely to be suitable for most attendees. Send feelers around prior to the date to get an idea of the best time for everybody. Try to stick to a Friday or Saturday night and organise in good time to give guests plenty of notice. Christmas is a busy period, so don’t be too downhearted if many cannot attend. After finalising a date, narrow down a time and guest list, including plus ones if possible.
Your invitations obviously depend on what kind of partying you’re throwing. If it’s a casual gathering, a Facebook event will do. If it’s an office party, send an email around. If it’s a formal event with many guests, maybe send out a physical invite. Styles adds ‘Although online invitations are perfectly acceptable for last-minute get-togethers, there’s nothing quite like a mailed invitation to set the tone for a party and build anticipation for the fun in store’.
Once the date, venue and guest list is determined, the fun can really begin. The perks of throwing a party in your own home means you don’t have to spend too much money on decorations. Chances are your Christmas tree will already be up!
However, if you want an abundance of glitter and sparkle, then the more the merrier. Popular Christmas party themes include Winter Wonderland, Vintage Christmas, or Santa’s Workshop, so buy your decorations accordingly. Try to include a focal point on entrance, such as a festive hanging, mistletoe or a Christmas tree. If it’s a dinner party, include Christmassy table centrepieces or napkin holders.
The dress code is one of the eagerly anticipated aspects of the party, so be sure to let guests know of the dress code on their invitations. This is a good way of setting the theme, so if you want formal wear or fun fancy dress, be sure to make it clear. If you opt for fun costumes, we offer a range of Christmas costumes whether you fancy a Winter Wonderland theme or a hoard of Santas.
Food is a big part of the Christmas party, whether you provide a 3 course meal or just nibbles. Although it’s a Christmas party, don’t feel like you have to stick to turkey. A buffet can work just as well, giving guests variety and being easier for you. Festive nibbles to include are mince pies, nuts, vol-au-vents, pigs in blankets, etc. Either way, ensure you consider all guests and their dietary requirements.
Similar to food, the key with drinks it to provide variety. Styles suggests setting up a self-serve bar ‘so guests can be their own mixologists’. Provide at least two or three kinds of liquor, including wine and spirits, and a few festive mixers. If you want to really impress, welcome guests with a glass of champagne on arrival. Bear in mind that not everybody drinks alcohol and many guests might be driving home. So, be sure to offer a variety of soft drinks as well.
Last but not least on the hosting 101 guide, is to provide entertainment. Music is a must at a party and can help guests let their hair down. Make a playlist in advance and ensure you have a trusty pair of speakers at your venue. Obviously include some Christmas hits, but don’t feel like you can’t add non-Christmas songs. There’s only so many Christmas tunes that you can dance to.
Other entertainment will depend on the formality of your party and your venue. Ideas for a hired venue include magicians, comedians, karaoke or even fireworks. If you’re hosting at home, come up with some Christmas themed games to break the ice. Incorporate alcohol into the games if you really want to let loose. Need inspiration? Find Christmas games here.
That’s it, enjoy your Christmas party! How did you get on? Let us know in the comments.
Jess is a writer for Sparkling Strawberry who likes to dabble in eccentric fancy dress and hunting down the perfect seasonal costumes.
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