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How To Throw a Christmas Party

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is getting together with family and friends. Throwing a Christmas party can be anything from an ugly sweater contest to a formal sit down dinner. Whichever you choose, here are some tips to pulling it off.

Date. To avoid conflicts, schedule the event closer to the beginning of December. As the month goes on, the stress increases and the the calendar gets more full. To ensure better attendance, schedule your event during that first week.

Type of party. Christmas parties take many forms. Determine if it is a casual affair or more formal. This will help you decide who to invite (no kids at a formal party), invitations, food and more.

Invites. Invitations take many forms from a text message, e-vite or mailed, depending on the type of event/budget. In this digital age, an e-vite or personal phone call is usually acceptable. However, text messages should only be reserved for casual and informal get-togethers. Send the invitation oen to two weeks before the event to give attendees a chance to get it on their schedules.

Guest list. For a big party (we’re talking more than 30 people), you can invite anyone you want to. For a smaller guest list, you might want to think about it a bit more. If you invite 10 people and eight know each other really well, the other two are bound to feel uncomfortable and feel left out. Consider a good mix of of personalities that will allow your guests to feel at ease.

Games. Not every Christmas party needs a game. Consider the type of group you are inviting and choose a board game, charades, white elephant gift exchange or an ugly sweater contest.

Food. For a more casual event, small finger foods or even just desserts are appropriate. For a more substantial meal, consider a potluck and ask each guest to bring something to share. A more formal dinner can either be catered or prepared by the host. It is generally inappropriate to request guests to bring something to a formal gathering.

Dress Code. This should be addressed on the invitation. If you expect guests to dress more formally, state it to avoid any confusion.

Kids. If your guests have them, you need to address it. For an adults only party, encourage guests to leave kids at home. Or you could provide babysitting at the event and hire neighborhood teenagers to watch. For a more casual gathering with smaller crowds, kids can be an appropriate addition to your guest list.

Decor. Keep it simple. Your regular holiday decor is usually enough to bring in the Christmas spirit. If you want to kick it up a notch, incorporate that design to the tablescape, napkins and other extra elements.

Music. Set the mood with a Christmas mix to brighten the festivities. Have a variety of songs and keep the volume low enough so your guests don’t have to shout.

Good luck with your party!

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