How to Host a Fabulous Christmas Party
Hosting a fabulous Christmas party does not need to be stressful. The Christmas season is a time to celebrate and have fun being together. Keep these two goals in mind during the planning and execution of the party, and resist the temptation to take on more than you can handle.
First, choose a date for the party. Because the Christmas season is filled with everything from pageants to carolling, it’s important to choose this early and send the Christmas party invitations out well in advance: at least three weeks. Around the same time, you’ll want to settle on a theme for your party whether that be grandma’s baking or Christmas in Hawaii.
With the theme chosen, you can begin to plan party food, activities, and decorations. Will you be hiring a caterer or making everything from scratch? Will you ask your family or your guests to bring dishes? Are you going to use your boxes of ornaments saved up from Christmases past to trim the tree or will you be buying new tinsel and lights to bring off that holiday glow? Plan for cost and time spent doing or making each item or dish, and if something is too expensive or too time-consuming, consider going without.
About a week before the party, gather all your decorations, whether from the attic or the store, to check for broken or non-working items. Buy or construct things that you’re missing. A simple way to make a party look fabulous and unified is to choose one eye-catching centerpiece and then repeat colours and motifs from that throughout the rest of your decorations.
If you’re making the party food yourself, start cooking two or three days before the big event. Do things a little at a time to avoid stress, and try to prepare what you can in advance. For example, if you must have warm cookies, make the dough beforehand and freeze it. When preparing food, keep in mind how it will be served and what your guests will be wearing: if everyone is going to show up in holiday dresses, you may want to skip on the messy fondues. Check with your “helpers,” if you have any, to make sure that they remember their food assignments and to see if they need any assistance. Also, you can get someone to take pictures of the “preparation”. Friends and family usually expect the traditional, albeit boring, Christmas card. Try something different and send out “behind the scenes” christmas cards. That should catch them off guard, and give them something conversation-worthy to decorate their fridge with!
On the day of the party try to have everything set up about an hour in advance of party time so that you will have enough time to get yourself ready for the party and greet guests as they begin to arrive. This tactic has another advantage: if the food is ready to go, you won’t have to keep going back to the kitchen to check on it, and you’ll have more time to spend with your guests.
The most important thing you can do to throw a successful Christmas party is to relax and have a good time chatting and catching up with friends and family. It is likely that not everything will go off exactly as planned, but keep everything in perspective and enjoy the fabulous celebration that you planned!
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