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How to Plan a Christmas Party

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Everybody loves a party, but most especially Christmas parties. It's an event that brings together people to celebrate the holidays and the blessings of the year. When planning your holiday party, be sure to send out your invitations with plenty of notice, especially if you're planning your event for Christmas Eve or any weekend in December.

The Party Organizer's To-Do List

Pre-planning: Two months to a month before the party

Plan early because the holidays are a busy time for most people.

  1. Mark the date. It's important to choose the right date for your party. You don't want it to clash with anyone's holiday plans.

  2. Make a guest list. Make a list of the people you would like to invite. Depending on the mood, you might want to invite close friends and family, perhaps co-workers, and if you want more of a mixer, ask your invitees to bring a guest. Make sure that your budget and venue can handle the number of people you decide to have. You don't want to go bankrupt or spoil the party by having your guests feel uncomfortable.

  3. Find a venue. If your party will take place at home, then you're all set, but if you want to host your event at a restaurant or other place be sure to reserve the space with plenty of time to avoid losing out due to procrastination.

  4. Send your invitations. The earlier you send your invites, the better. Since the holidays are a busy time for most people, you'll want to send out your Christmas party invitations as soon as you have a date and venue planned out.

  5. Plan your menu and set a budget. If you're on a tight budget you can make it a potluck party, but if you want control of everything, then go ahead and plan your menu. Of course, all according to your budget. Hor d'ouevres are always a popular choice and are perfect for mingling.

Planning the Details: 2 weeks before the party

As the time of your party draws near, it's time to take care of the important details of your party. This is where you decide on a theme for the party, how to decorate the venue, and having some form of entertainment or games.

  • Food Finalize your menu and perhaps consider shopping for any essentials now. Your menu should have some of the traditional food served during Christmas, including eggnog, cider, and Christmas cookies get into the spirit. However, you can add your own for variety, such as doing a twist on tea sandwiches by making them into a festive wreath. Watch the DIY video courtesy of Celebrations.com for all the steps! You also have the option to have it catered and save yourself some stress. Whatever you decide, make your meal as pleasing to the eyes and stomach as the rest of your party!

  • Decorations traditional Christmas decorations include a Christmas tree, candles, lights, and other holiday decorations. Make it festive by hanging lots of sparkly decor. Set the table with traditional colors like red and green. If it's a themed party decorate accordingly. This is the right time to pick out and buy your decor.

  • Entertainment and games make the party lively by having games and entertainment. You can ask your talented friends or family members to perform at the party. Some popular games you can incorporate in the party are Bring Me, Charades, and Pictionary. You can also sing Christmas carols. Be sure to ask your guests to dress up according to the theme. You could have a Christmas sweater party or ask your guests to only wear red and/ or green.

  • Favors nothing says thank you more than a parting gift. Some great Christmas party favors include some personalized stockings or Christmas ornaments. You could also hand out some edible treats such as holiday cookies or personalized hot cocoa all packaged within some pretty favor bags.

Christmas Party Etiquette FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about hosting a Christmas party:

What are some great Christmas party themes?
Depending on your budget you can have a simple theme like White Christmas where your decor and table settings are all white and have your guests dress in white. You can also have something festive such as a Christmas sweater theme or ask your guests to come as their favorite Christmas character such as Rudolph or Santa.

What kind of considerations do I take when planning the menu?
Parties are not without their share of alcoholic drinks. But you should also consider those who might not want to drink one, or if your party will have kids. You might also want to offer some vegetarian options and be sure to ask your guests ahead of time whether they have any food allergies.

Does it cost much to host a Christmas party?
It all really depends on how many people you are inviting. Is it an intimate family dinner or a block party? Your theme, if you're going to have one, also plays a role in your budget.

Is it ok to ask them to bring something for exchange gifts?
If you've told them beforehand that you're having an exchange gift during the party, then it should be ok. Everyone loves presents and it's the holidays. It's the season of giving.

What are the appropriate party favors to give?
Some popular Christmas party favors include scented candles, candies, cookies, or a personalized holiday ornament.

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