5 TIPS FOR HOSTING THE BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY EVER
Want to host the best Christmas party ever, but not interested in stressing yourself out and ruining your own holidays?
Hosting a great Christmas party doesn’t have to be stressful.
Whether your party is formal or casual, if you follow these five simple tips, you’ll host a hassle-free evening your guests will remember as the best christmas party they’ve been to, for years to come.
So, take a deep breath, leave your worries behind, and let’s get planning.
#1 Make a list (and check it twice)
Planning a party involves lots of moving parts, and trying to keep track of them can be mentally exhausting.
Experts agree that the best way to stay organized is to make a party checklist. This can be broken into what to do weeks and days before, as well as what to do the day of the party. This allows you to get all of your thoughts out of your head and helps you feel on top of planning the best Christmas party ever.
In our fast-paced, high-tech world, there are several ways to make lists these days. Whether you use an app like Evernote or do it the old fashioned way—jotting it down with pen and paper—the act of organizing your thoughts will give you a sense of control.
Make lists for all the things you need: your guest list, your food list, your wine list, etc.
Then, once you have your list, check it again and see if there are any tasks you can delegate. Maybe this means calling on a friend or two to help. Your guests will likely appreciate getting involved and will feel more invested in the party.
And if you have any children attending, ask them to be party helpers or greeters, too. Even your littlest guests will want to get involved and can often be a big help.
#2 A Little Mood Music
As any filmmaker can tell you, music is important to setting the mood for a scene.
Think about how you want your guests to feel. Upbeat and happy? Or mellow and relaxed after a long work week?
You can create a playlist on your iPod or mp3 player ahead of time so there won’t be a lull in the music. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, hire a DJ.
Crunched for time and budget? The free versions of Pandora or Spotify give you easy access to hours of ready-made Christmas playlists. You can play them through your smart TV, your phone, or a voice-activated assistant like Google Home or the Amazon Echo.
One thing to remember: as much as you may want to show off your musical taste, your guests will likely want to talk to each other—so it’s best to keep the volume low.
And when in doubt, just keep the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack on constant loop.
#3 Have a well-stocked bar
When purchasing beverages, you want to err on the side of having too much.
Nothing kills a party faster than running out of drinks, and if you buy more than you need, I have good news for you: you can always enjoy the leftovers later.
What do you need for a well-stocked bar?
Essential liquors include vodka, gin, and scotch — plus mixers like Seltzer, Club Soda, and Tonic Water. If you prefer to keep the options limited, a selection of red and white wines will do, plus one or two craft beer choices—and since it’s a Christmas party, don’t forget the eggnog.
Not all of your guests will be drinking, though, so have some non-alcoholic options on hand as well. Someone has to drive home!
#4 Keep food simple and elegant
An intimate party might include a sit-down dinner, but for larger affairs, heavy hors d’oeuvres will be perfect. Consider an alternative to traditional catering with a themed Grazing Table to make the event really spectacular.
Have them prepped ahead of time so you can relax at the party. Examples of heavy hors d’oeuvres might be fine cheese, cured meats and gourmet dips and spreads. These are always popular and pair well with most drink selections.
If you do include a full meal, make sure you seat your guests accordingly. Part of the fun of a party is meeting new people. Mix and match your guests’ seating arrangements to allow them to mingle with someone new.
#5 Remember to have fun!
I saved the best – and most important, best Christmas party ever tip for last.
When planning your party, you should always keep your guests in mind. But it’s your party. It should be reflection of you and your personality. So if you find yourself planning the kind of party you wouldn’t want to attend, stop right there and go back to step one.
Remember, every party is your chance to start your own holiday tradition. Take a moment to think about what kind of party you would like. The more fun you have, the more your guests will, too.
Even if you’ve never thrown a Christmas party before…
Or if the thought of planning it gives you nightmares…
As long as you follow these five simple tips, you can host a Christmas Party your guests will love.
Relax, have fun—and good luck!