Christmas parties are a great way to get friends and coworkers together to celebrate the holiday season. If you are planning a Christmas party, you may be feeling the stress of coordinating and managing the event. Give yourself at least a month to iron out all the details. This way you will be able to fully plan and coordinate everything so that your party will be a success!
Method 1 of 4:Planning the LogisticsDownload Article
1Plan early. You need to give yourself enough time to work out all the details of the party. Try to start your planning around a month before Christmas. This will not only give you enough time to plan the party, it also will allow you to invite your guests early so that they won't plan anything else for that day.Expert SourceStefanie Chu-LeongProfessional Event PlannerExpert Interview. 24 January 2020.
2Choose a date and time. Don't plan your party too close to Christmas. Many of your guests may be leaving town to visit family, so if you plan your party the day before Christmas, many people may not be able to come. Instead, try to hold the party at least five days before Christmas.
The weekend is usually the best time to hold the party, because your guests won't have to go to work in the morning.
Also decide if you want your party to be during the afternoon or a night. Most parties are held in the evening, but try to choose what is best for you and your guests.Expert SourceStefanie Chu-LeongProfessional Event PlannerExpert Interview. 24 January 2020.
Get some input from your guests if you aren't sure when people would be able to make it.
3Decide how you will serve food at your party. When you hold a party at your home, you have several options as to how you are going to feed your guests. You may decide that you have the time and the resources to cook and bake food for the party and provide alcohol. However, you may decide to make things easier for yourself by making the party potluck style, where guests all bring a dish with them.Expert SourceStefanie Chu-LeongProfessional Event PlannerExpert Interview. 24 January 2020.
You can also make the party BYOB so that you don't have to provide the majority of the drinks.
4Decide whether you want to do a gift exchange. Decide in advance whether you want your guests do a gift exchange like Secret Santa or White Elephant. This is not a necessary part of the party, but it can add some excitement and give your guests an activity to bond over.
To do a Secret Santa, give your guests the name of another guest, preferably a person that they already know, to buy a gift for.
For White Elephant, all guests bring a small or funny gift that anyone could enjoy. Then each guest picks whichever present he or she wants during the party.
5Send out invites. Once you have pinned down the details of the date and time of your party, send out invitations either by email or mail.
Make sure that the invitations include the date, time and address of the party.Expert SourceStefanie Chu-LeongProfessional Event PlannerExpert Interview. 24 January 2020.
Also make sure that the invitations tell your guests to RSVP, so you will have a sense of how many people will be at the party.
If you decide to do a gift exchange, give your guests the information on what they need to bring. If you decide to make the party a potluck with a BYOB policy, make sure to also include that in the invite.
6Budget the party. Draw up a general budget of your party. Unless you are doing a potluck, providing food and drinks will probably be the most expensive aspect of your party.
If you are preparing food yourself, estimate the approximate cost of ingredients for dishes you plan to make.
Think about if you need to rent anything like chairs, tables or coat racks to accommodate guests.
Also take into account the cost of Christmas-specific decorations you will have at your party, such as the Christmas tree, garlands, stockings, or other small pieces of décor.
Method 2 of 4:Setting up the PartyDownload Article
1Prepare food. If you have decided to prepare food instead of making the party a potluck, decide on a menu that will appeal to all your guests. Make sure to have one or two vegetarian options. Prepare what you can the day before, and buy food at the supermarket like fresh fruit or cheese and crackers.
You don't have to offer your guests a full meal. Finger foods are ideal for Christmas parties because they are easy to eat and are often easy to prepare as well.
Make sure to provide desserts as well as savory items.
Some good examples of tasty and easy to make foods are: deviled eggs, veggies and dip, bruschetta, pigs in blankets, and gingerbread and Christmas cookies.
While you are at the supermarket, remember to buy any plates, napkins, cups or utensils your guests will need to eat.
2Prepare or buy drinks. If your party is not BYOB, you will have to provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The easiest option for alcoholic drinks is to make a signature holiday cocktail in a large batch. This a good option because it will be cheaper than buying a lot of different kinds of liquor, and it is easier for guests because they won't have to prepare their own drinks.
You can also provide beer as an alternative drink to a cocktail.
Also be sure to buy plenty of soda and festive non-alcoholic drinks like sparkling juice and eggnog.
3Clean the space. Before the party, do some major cleaning of your house. Start by cleaning all surfaces and putting everything in its place. Then take a step back and assess if there is enough room for your guests. If the room feels too cluttered or crowded to hold a large amount of people, start to move things into other rooms to make sure there is enough space for everyone.
4Put out tables and chairs. You will need to put out long tables for holding food. You also should make sure that there are enough chairs to hold about a fourth of your guests. Your guests are going to mingle and walk around, so you don't need to have as many chairs as you have guests. However, aim enough chairs or couches for elderly guests or for guests who get tired of standing.
5Make a festive atmosphere. The Christmas tree is the most important focal point of a Christmas party. Place the tree so that it's in a prominent, central location while still not being in the way. Decorate the tree with lights, garlands, and ornaments, and place a star at the very top. Then decorate the rest of the space.
Remember to plug the lights into an outlet and turn them on before the start of the party.
Make sure the rest of the space follows a Christmas theme by putting out stockings, tinsel, mistletoe, red and green ornaments, and any other decorations that fit the Christmas spirit.
6Set up a kids area. If your friends or coworkers are bringing their kids, you will want to set up an area with games or fun activities for them. This will keep kids entertained, occupied and out of trouble!
Set the kids area slightly apart from the hustle and bustle of the party.
Consider the ages of the kids coming to the party when picking out games. For instance, Monopoly would be too complex for three year olds, while older children would be bored by toys designed for younger children.
7Set up the food and drinks. Set up food at a long table, with savory appetizers at one end and desserts on the other. Make sure that there are plenty of plates, napkins and utensils at each side of the table so that guests can help themselves.
Also consider putting out toothpicks if you are serving food like fruit or shrimp cocktail, which are easier to spear than to eat with you fingers or with forks.
If you are serving hot food, heat it up 30 minutes before guests are scheduled to arrive.
8Turn on music. Make a playlist of your favorite Christmas songs, mixed in with other party music. Use speakers to play the music at a normal volume.
When making your playlist, think about your audience. Consider that your coworkers and your older relatives may be at the party, and play music that is not too aggressive or too inappropriate.
If you don't know what kind of music to play, consider having a site like Pandora make a playlist for you.
If you are planning a large party at a venue, consider hiring a professional DJ.
9Turn down the lights. Glaring lights can kill a cheerful holiday vibe. Dim overhead lights, and turn on any standing lamps or other light sources. Consider hanging Christmas lights along the walls to give your party a twinkling, warm light.
You also can put candles on tables and shelves; just make sure that the candles are held in jars, or other safe containers. Also make sure to monitor the candles after you light them, and keep them out of reach of children.
Method 3 of 4:Holding the PartyDownload Article
1Greet your guests as they come in. Part of your role as host is to greet each guest as they join the party. Warmly greet them and ask them how they are. Let them know where everyone is, and that they should help themselves to food and drinks.
Say something like, “Hi Jasmine, so glad you were able to make it! Come in, everyone is in the living room. Help yourself to food!”
You can also give your greetings a personal touch by asking or saying something pertaining to each individual. For instance say, “How's your new job going?” or “Is Chris going to be able to make it?”
2Hang up coats. Also ask your guests as they come in if you can take their coat and/or purses. Either put them on a coat rack, or put them in an unused room so that your guests will be able to pick them up later.
3Enjoy yourself. Once all your guests have arrived, go mingle with everyone. Try to chat with at least all of your guests a little bit, and have some food. Remember to smile, and try to enjoy yourself. Remember that everyone who accepted your invitation appreciates the effort that you went through to put on this party.
4Don't drink too much. There's always one person who drinks a little too much at Christmas parties: make sure that person isn't you. As host, you are the most critical person at this party, so you don't want to drink too much and lose focus.
Even if you feel like drinking could help you feel less nervous, try not to have more than one or two drinks.
5Make an announcement to welcome everyone. About fifteen minutes after everyone has arrived, make an announcement or propose a toast. This is a way of thanking everyone for coming and showing how much it means to you that they are at your party.
You can say something like, “I just wanted to say, thank you all for coming! It's so nice to see all of you together. Here's to a great holiday season!”
6Introduce guests to one another. As host, part of your job is to make sure that your guests are comfortable. It could be that some of your guests only know a couple people at the party, and they may not know how to meet other guests. Make sure to introduce guests who may not know each other and get them started on a conversation.
An easy way of introducing people is to say something like, “Hey Eliza, have you met Rachel? She was in my class at UMass.”
7Do a gift exchange about halfway through the party. If you are doing a gift exchange, start it about midway through the party. This gives time for your guests to eat, drink and chat with guests.
Make an announcement like, “Alright, is everyone ready to do Secret Santa?”
Give your guests instructions about how to exchange gifts. Say something like, “Everyone gather over to this side of the room, and bring your gifts. I'm going to read out who everyone's Secret Santa is, and when I call your name, go ahead and exchange your gift!”
8Bring the party to a close. At the end of the night, start to wind down the party. Use subtle methods like turning down the music, or putting away food, to signal that the party is over. As your guests leave, smile and thank them for coming.
Method 4 of 4:Holding a Party at a VenueDownload Article
1Budget the party. If you are holding a large party or an office party, you will have to structure it differently from a house party. You will likely need to rent a venue and order catering, which can both be pricey.
If you are planning a party for an organization or for your office, they likely are covering the cost of the party. Check in and make sure you know the budget limit.
If you are paying for the party yourself, assess your finances and your budget before making any arrangements.
2Find a venue. If your party is for your office or a very large group of people, you will need to rent out a venue. Do some research and ask around for recommendations of different venues that host large parties. Then call these venues, see if they are available to host the party on the day that you are planning, and ask for an estimate.Expert SourceStefanie Chu-LeongProfessional Event PlannerExpert Interview. 24 January 2020.
3Send out invitations. Once you have a venue and a date picked out, send out invitations to your guests. Make sure that you specifically request your guests to RSVP, since the venue will want to know how many people coming to the party.
4Set up catering. If the venue you are renting does in-house catering, you can ask them to cater the party. You can also call your favorite restaurant or catering service and see if they can cater. Let the company know approximately how many people will be in attendance and specify the menu items that you want for the party.
Catering services do all the hard work of preparing and delivering the food so that all that you have to do is pay.
5Set up tables and decorations. See if the venue you are renting will help you set up tables and chairs. Also be sure to set out plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Then decorate the space for Christmas. Set up a Christmas tree, and hang lights, garlands, mistletoe and whatever other decorations you'd like.
If you are unsure of how to hang things in the venue, ask a staff member how you should proceed.
If the venue has speakers you can use, hook up a laptop and play either a playlist you made or use an app like Pandora to custom make one for you. You also may choose to hire a DJ for a larger party.
6Check in with guests and the venue throughout the party. Since the party is taking place a venue, you do not have to act as a host if you don't want to. For instance, you don't have to greet each guest as they come in. However, since you masterminded the event, check in with caterers, guests, and the venue throughout the party to make sure that everything is running smoothly.