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How to Throw a Christmas Party

Updated on December 18, 2011

Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Yes, it's that time of the year again! The festive spirit is in the air and it's time to party! There are celebrations and parties everywhere you turn, from a casual get-together with family and friends to a formal office Christmas party. From the day after Thanksgiving all the way up till New Year's Eve, there is a long string of parties for you to attend.

Maybe you secretly yearn of planning a Christmas party yourself that will be the talk of the town. But then, the thought of all of the work and skill that go into hosting a successful party leaves you a little weak in the knees. Many--me included--have this fear of not knowing how to throw a Christmas party if they would just admit it. Like you, they wonder how in the world they're going to pull it all off without a hitch.

Chill! Relax!

Christmas party planning isn't as difficult as you imagine it to be. As in anything else worth doing, you just need to organize yourself to ensure a good result. Here are a few simple steps and ideas you can follow to put on a successful Xmas party whether it's for your family and friends or your office.

Start Early

Every successful party requires quite a fair bit of organization and efforts. Christmas party is no exception. There are a lot of details to take care of, and you don't want to leave anything to chances if you can help it. Starting early gives you time to switch over to Plan B in case some preparations don't go as smooth as plan.

Besides, the holidays are a busy time for everyone, you included. Prepare your party well in advance so it won't interfere with all your other Christmas events. Give yourself at least 4-6 weeks before the big day to plan and organize. Don't wait until the last minute. Organization is the key to a successful party.

Who are the Christmas Party for?

Before you even come up with any Christmas party ideas, you have to decide who are you holding the event for. Are you holding the party for family and friends, or is it for business associates? The type of people coming will affect the theme and formality of the party. It's difficult to mix business and family gathering in a party. So best to avoid it if you don't know what you're doing.

Another aspect to consider is whether there will be children coming. The needs of the children and grown-ups are different, so you have to take this into consideration. When it's purely for the adults, such as an office Christmas party, things could be simpler. Holding a Christmas party for kids, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. It's as much a party for the grown-ups (parents) as it's a party for the children.

Christmas Party Themes and Venues

You have to take a decision on the type of the party. It can be in the form of a cocktail, tea, or dinner party. You can also make it a themed party to make it more fun. The easiest is to have everyone wear a Christmas costume. Or try something different like a tree trimming party during this Christmas season.

The other decision you must make is the venue to hold the party. If you wish to throw the party at a particular place other than your home, you'll have to book the place in advance. This has to be done as soon as possible since somebody else may be eyeing the same place for their Christmas parties too.

Christmas Party Invitations

Before you merrily go off to make all the arrangement, you should find out how many people will be attending the party, then base your plan off that number. So, the next task is to decide who you wish to invite.

Make your guest list, check it twice, and invite, invite, invite. Call, email, or snail mail the invitations. The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Make sure you give your guests as much advance notice as possible so they will have a chance to RSVP.

Prepare to accommodate a few more persons in case you cannot confirm the exact number of people coming to the party. This way, you are sure to have enough foods and drinks for everybody.

Christmas Party Menu

Food and beverage are part of the reason everyone is jolly in the holiday season. It is the time of year to splurge on food and drink and forget about all plans of dieting till the New Year. From snacks, appetizers, hors d'oeuvres to desserts, make sure you have plenty of food laid out on the table to make your guests happy.

If you enjoy cooking, dig out those Christmas party food recipes. Homemade desserts are always a big hit. Serve finger foods like sandwiches or wraps if it's a tea party you're holding. Christmas cocktails aren't a bad idea either. Just keep things simple when planning the menu but don't compromise on the quality of your food.

Pick delicious dishes that are easy to make. Choose recipes you can make ahead of time or requiring only heating to serve. And let's not be a hero(ine) attempting a new recipe for the first time. The last thing you want is to get stuck in the kitchen when you should be out there mingling and catching up with family and friends.

Feeling a little apprehensive just thinking about cooking for so many people? Hire help! Cater your dinner or order takeout and save on some hard labor. Or be creative and throw a Christmas potluck party. Everyone can proudly show off their best Christmas cooking while you simply coordinate and fill in the blanks.

Move on to the Christmas drinks once you've settled the food menu. Have a selection of drinks you guests can choose from. Stock up the bar for those who like to really free their spirit. Prepare an assortment of fruit punch, juice and soda for those who don't and the children. Tea and coffee are always welcome too. Of course, never forget about Christmas traditions like eggnog!

Christmas Party Games and Activities

What is a party without some games and activities to make everyone happy? Sure, it will take some planning, but then it will be worth it to see how much fun everyone is having. It's also a great way to break the ice between your guests who aren't familiar with one another.

Setting up Christmas games aren't difficult. You just have to think wisely and factor in what is fun and exciting. Avoid games that are too tiring or require too much thinking. You don't want to stress out anybody. Scavenger hunt and charades are some usual party pleasers to start you off.

Cater separate Christmas games for adults and children, but that doesn't mean that the grown-ups won't enjoy playing with the kids. Rudolph Dash, Santa Says, and Fill The Christmas Stocking are some fun games both kids and kids-at-heart will have fun. One tip: Provide a room or designated area where the children can run about. This will save you the headache of banging and breakage.

Don't restrict yourself to games only. There are many other fabulous activities to involve everyone. Singing Christmas carols together is a fitting activity. Scale it up to karaoke singing if you wish. Organize a Secret Santa where everyone buy a gift for a stranger. This is gift exchange when you don't know who you're getting the gift from!

Taking pictures is another must with digital cameras so cheap and versatile these days. Video recording is so easy with some of these video cams it's no excuse to not capture the moments your guests will cherish. Remember to share the photos and videos on social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr, and so on for everyone to download.

Christmas Party Supplies

One last thing: Take inventory. Create a comprehensive list of all the supplies you will need to throw a successful Christmas party. This means things like tables and chairs, cutlery and plates, table cloths and service pieces, candlesticks, decorations, and what not. Include food and beverage food items on your planned menu as well.

See, hosting a memorable Christmas party isn't so hard after all, right? In fact, I'm certain you can do it with the tips above on how to throw a Christmas party. There are only a few main things you have to do to make the party enjoyable for everyone, yourself included.

So, get out there and start planning. Throw a party that will be the talk of the town and that people can't wait to come back the next Christmas.

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