Christmas Party Ideas to get the Celebration Started
What kind of festive gathering will you throw this holiday season? A caroling party for the kids? An open house for the neighbors? Or a feast for the whole family? Whatever you have planned, we’ve gathered together a few useful tips to help you steer the party in the right direction, from holiday entertaining basics to festive decorating and, of course, easy holiday recipes to serve. Get ready to make your home merry and bright and welcome guests to the party.
Choose Your Theme
Start with your party’s theme and everything will fall into place from there. Are you considering a sophisticated cocktail party or a family-friendly caroling spree? Is the mood meant to be formal and elegant, or casual and improvised? Want to make it a stress-free event? A buffet can make the food easier to manage or opt for just cocktails and finger foods to avoid having to orchestrate an entire meal.
Send the Invite
Pinpoint a date, time and location then send out those invitations at least three to four weeks ahead of time, especially since holiday calendars can fill up quickly. Send your invitations by way of the most convenient method you like: email, mail or online invitation services are all great ways to extend the invitation to friends and family.
Make it a “Give Back” Party
Guests love to bring something to holiday parties, from food to decorations to gifts. This year, research charities and pick your favorite cause. Then invite guests and ask them to contribute to that charity in lieu of what they might usually bring to the party. It doesn’t have to be a financial gift either. Perhaps you are collecting food for the local food bank, toys for the Boys and Girls Club or winter coats for the homeless. No matter what, have information on hand about the charity you’ve chosen to share with everyone. Follow up after you’ve delivered your donations with a tally of the total, a note about the impact this will make, and of course, a big thank you! This kind of party brings much joy to both your guests and those in need!
Plan the Menu
Now that you know what kind of party it will be, you can plan your menu accordingly. Try to strike a balance between what you will prepare yourself and what you can ask others to bring or what you can buy pre-made and present it beautifully on a platter.
Mix Things Up
A self-service beverage bar will make it easy for you as a host and for your guests to refill their glasses whenever they like. Consider having a signature drink for the evening, like a spiked punch, that can easily be made in a large beverage dispenser. Or set up a variety of liquors and mixers so guests can create their own concoctions. Need help with the math? Here’s a handy guide for a 2 ½ hour party:
- Plan on 2 ½ drinks per person
- 1 bottle of bubbly champagne for every 2-3 guests
- 1 bottle of wine for every 2-3 guests (have both red and white on hand)
- 1 quart of liquor for every 10-12 guests
Greet Your Guests
Long before your guests arrive, be sure to make their first impression a merry one. String pre-lit garland along front porch railings or around your front door’s frame. Add coordinating décor, such as a festive holiday wreath or holiday topiaries to make the look complete.
Get Set With Christmas Table Decorations
Create a festive tablescape for the middle of your holiday table that can add to your home’s overall décor, as well as when you’re hosting a meal. When you depart from the everyday dishes and set the table with something merry instead, everyone knows that it’s a special occasion. Set the table with colorful dinnerware in a seasonal design. There are many patterns and sets available — some even feature matching goblets and serving pieces. Don’t forget the matching placemats and table runner too!
Bring Out the Decor
Step up the Christmas decor for your special occasion. Hang beautiful garland from your fireplace mantel. Add a gorgeous table runner to set the holiday mood. Pour water from a yuletide pitcher or bring a touch of the season to any side table with a winter floral lantern. There are so many ways to add those special Christmas accents!
Make sure your porch light is turned on and it’s easy to see your address. Double check temperatures: chilled beverages and warmed dishes. Dim the lights and light or turn on LED candles. And last of all, turn a playlist of music on low to the set the mood and make sure it lasts all evening.
Looking for great gift ideas?
Make your Christmas party extra special with these holiday dinnerware, linens and accents: Sleigh Server, Light Candle Holder, Set of 2 Faux Fur Placemats, Fur Bear Canvas Runner, Set of 4 Adeline Goblets by Pioneer Woman, Set of 4 Christmas Tunes Plates, Acorn Pine Filler, Set of 2 Snowy Owls, Merry Christmas Blocks, Winter Floral Lantern, Quilted Chair Cover, Buffalo Check Runner