I am worried about this years xmas dinner party, what tips can I use to help me through the night?

I am not sure whether you are attending the party or holding it. So I will create a hub that answers both:)

Attending:

This will be different if it a family or friend held event or a work function so again I will cater to both senarios.

Family/friends:

Clothes: plan to wear something that you are comfortable in and that suits the venue ie dont wear stilettos if you know that the party is an outdoor bbq.

Bring: gifts ( in some families a few weeks before the event everyone picks a name out of the hat and buys a more expensive present for that person instead of a lot of cheap nasty presents for every one). Alcohol especially if you have expensive tastes. A plate if you have a signature christmas dish or have organised with the host previously. Something to occupy your kids if you have them... no one likes bratty children that spoil the party because the are "bored" or require adult attention 24/7.

Good ideas: Preorganise a taxi if you know that you will drink or coopt your partner/friend to be the designated driver. 

Work function:

Clothes: Something that is appropriate yet fun, perhaps some Christmas earrings or a Santa hat. If it is a rather fancy do, have a few outfits that you have prechosen so that on the day you are not in a blind panic about what to wear.

Bring: the right attitude, remember these are your work colleagues and they dont need to forgive you for an alcohol fueled faux pas! In fact they could conceivably sue you for sexual harassment if you are terribly inappropriate.

Good ideas: Organising your ride home before you get there. drinking a water or a soda after every alcoholic drink. Eat while you are drinking or even better before you start drinking to slow alcohol absorbtion down.

Hosting

Food:

Cater for the crowd, its better to have too much then to run out, in your invites always ask for RSVP's so you know your numbers. Get people to bring a dish ie  nibblies ect. Dont try out a new recipie that has never been attempted, you will be stressed about the outcome and if it fails you will be upset. Provide a vegetarian option. If there are going to be kids have an appropriate space for them to eat and play.

Drinks:

Before hand organise whether people will be bringing their own. if so make sure you have enough fridge space/eski space to cater for this. If you are supplying keep your eye out for specials in the weeks leading up to christmas as alcohol doesnt "go off". Provide enough ice, mixers, tea and coffee making facilities for the guests. Do you have enough glasses or should you hire some, or are you going to go for the plastic cup option.

Pets:

Can be stressed out by large numbers of people, perhaps a night in a kennel or being dropped at someones house might be a kinder option.

Neighbours:

Invite them, they will feel more hesistant at complaining if your guests are a little noisy.

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