Planning a party is always a big endeavour, but toss in the flurry of extra activities during the holiday season and it can take a toll on even the most organized person. It’s important to have a clear plan for your Christmas party to avoid getting overwhelmed and stressed out during this busy time of year.
Here are some tips for planning your best Christmas party ever, without getting overwhelmed in the process.
You want to start out by setting the date for your Christmas party as early as you can. There are always a lot of parties and other events held in December. The earlier you confirm your date and send out your invitations, the less chance you have of receiving a lot of responses like “Sorry, I can’t make it – we already have other plans.”
Remember that more is not always merrier. You don’t want to invite so many people that everyone is packed in elbow to elbow and you don’t get a chance to socialize with all of your guests. Send out invitations to those you really want to spend time with. You can send out invites via snail mail or by email and there are even some free email invitations you can use for your party.
There’s lots of decisions to be made when planning your Christmas party, including the format, tone and whether there will be a theme.
Things to consider:
- Is your party going to be formal or casual?
- Will you be serving a meal or appetizers and snacks only?
- Do you want to ask guests to contribute food for a potluck?
- Adults only or kids too?
- What time of day?
- Length of party?
- Will there be a theme?
- Do you want to have a colour scheme?
Party theme ideas:
It can make the event a lot more memorable if you have a specific party theme. If you’re going to have a theme party, try to stick with one or two predominant colours. There are many different Christmas party themes to choose from. Here are a few ideas:
You can have a winter wonderland party by decorating with silver and white decor. From the decorations inside to sprayed silver silk poinsettias lining the walk outside, you can make your home sparkle like a magical winter day. Hang hundreds of tiny white Christmas lights throughout your entertaining area. You can use white dishes to set your table with and white candy canes for seating markers.
Black Tie Christmas Party
You can host an elegant get together with your friends and family and give the grown ups a night out. Break out the best china and crystal. Remember that white is always elegant, so incorporate that when you’re decorating. Gold or silver are beautiful accent colour choices for a formal Christmas party. Serve champagne, hors d’ouvres and have room for slow dancing. It will be sure to be a night your loved ones won’t soon forget.
Christmas Cookie Exchange
Everyone loves cookies, so why not base your theme around them? A cookie exchange party takes some of the pressure off the party host because the guests bring at least some of the party snacks. Send out invitations to indicate that every person attending has to bring their favorite cookie recipe along with a plate of those cookies. Be sure to have milk, coffee, tea and hot chocolate to go along with those cookies.
Wine and Cheese
Wine and cheese get-togethers are a classic entertaining idea for a reason. They’re simple to put together and an enjoyable way to socialize with friends and family over the holidays. All you need to do is have a variety of wines and cheeses for guests to enjoy, along with a few other things to nibble on such as crackers or breads, fruit and maybe some olives and tapenade. It’s always a good idea to have some non-alcoholic wine or juice options for guests that don’t want to drink wine or are driving.
Favourite Things Party
For this party, everyone is asked to bring a certain number of their favourite thing. It could be 3 or 5 or any number you choose. The item has to be priced under a certain limit, often $10. The favourite things can be based around a specific theme, depending on the guests attending. For example, you could suggest they bring their favourite treat, wine, stocking stuffer, book or beauty product. At the party, names are drawn and everyone goes home with several of the other guests’ favourite things (the same number of items as they brought). Guests have a chance to share why they love the item they brought, while they share drinks and holiday treats at the party.
Christmas Tree Decorating Party
Rather than have to have all your Christmas decoration up before guests arrive, with a Christmas tree decorating party your guests will actually help you finish decorating for the holidays. This can be a fun idea for a smaller group. Be sure to have some Christmas decorations up and plenty of yummy treats and drinks to keep everyone fuelled while they decorate the tree with you. Be sure to have Christmas music playing during the party to keep everyone in the festive mood.
Kids Make It and Take It
If there will be lots of children at the party, have a simple DIY project or holiday craft ready for the kids to make that can be completed during the party. Some ideas for things kids can make are mini gingerbread houses, Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas cards or gifts for their friends or parents.
Other things you may want to include:
While your choice of theme will guide you in determining what types of food and drinks to serve at your Christmas party, here are a few fun ideas you may want to try to incorporate:
- Hot chocolate bar
- Christmas games
- Secret Santa gift exchange
- Ugly Christmas sweater contest
There are so many ideas for Christmas party planning that you might get overwhelmed just trying to decide which idea to go with. Whatever you do, remember to focus on making things as easy for yourself as possible so that you will be able to enjoy the party along with your guests. And remember that you can always try out another idea next year!