Christmas party

Christmas is fast approaching and for socialites that means one thing; it’s time for some of the biggest parties of the year!  If you’re planning on hosting your very own Christmas event then follow this checklist to ensure your every guest is filled with festive spirit (and maybe the alcoholic kind, too). Throwing the ultimate winter bash is no easy feat – but perfectly possible when following these merry tips.

Create a Facebook events page.

Even your grandma’s on Facebook. There’s no excuse to not get organised and formalize your event on social media. A Facebook events page simplifies invites, gives a good indication of attendance numbers, and lets your guest ‘save the date’ before they commit to any other event. Best of all – you can post regular updates or a countdown to get your friends hyped.

Get everyone to wear a costume.

There’s no way to force a dress-code on guests without coming across as extremely petty and a little bit insane. There is one effective way to encourage dress-up, though. Turn the whole thing into a competition! Offer a prize for the ugliest Christmas sweater or prettiest sequin outfit. You can also employ the failproof back-up plan of making available festive accessories at the party. This way, when boring Adam from accounting turns up in plain shirt and khakis, you can give him a pair of glittery reindeer antlers to sport.

Offer a place to store your guests’ winter gear

Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where temperatures are warm all year around, most of your guests will be arriving in heavy coats, scarves, hats, gloves and whatever other garments the biting frost of winter warrants. If you don’t want your coat stand collapsing under the weight of these items, then cover your bed with a festive throw and let guests cast their outerwear on top for easy access later. This tends to also have the benefit of storing bulky jackets out of sight during the party. It’s not the kind of cloakroom service you’ll expect at the Hilton, but for the night it’s a practical solution.

Get people talking with one another.

This goes for any party – if you’re the host then you’re in charge of introductions. From the very beginning you should be establishing a comfortable vibe by making sure that nobody feels out of place – nor too attached to a specific social circle. Easier said than done right? Well, should things get awkward…you can always subdue a socially stale atmosphere by offering guests a seasonal shot. Bourbon, anyone?

When it comes to music, mix old with new.

Too many of the overplayed classics can make for a snore-fest. By December, we’ve already heard every Christmas song under the much-absent-sun blasted from the speakers of every shopping mall and restaurant. Whilst you shouldn’t forego these Christmas anthems entirely, consider alternative versions or remixes for a more interesting take on the traditional Christmas party playlist. Mix this mash-up with just the right amount of contemporary dance tunes and you’ll have guests rocking around the Christmas tree all night. Then again, you can always opt for a premade iTunes or Spotify playlist to do the job for you.

Optimise the space you’re working with.

Whether you live in a large house or tiny apartment – a little feng shui magic will maximise your party’s potential. There needs to be at least one relatively wide space for mingling and dancing, along with plenty of comfortable seating and strategically placed tables for beverages and snacks. Furthermore, there should be easy access to the bathroom and exit so as to avoid awkward jams.

Plan for party games.

No, we’re not talking about Monopoly. When it comes to Christmas party games – the more outrageous, the better. Charades always has people laughing, and you can rely on word-based games like Taboo or Balderdash to get people feeling competitive. For a smaller crowd, some fast-paced card games might be appropriate. Hi Jack and Chase the Ace are especially fun games to play around Christmas time, and only take a minute to learn. However if your guests are too tipsy to learn rules, simply bring out the karaoke set. Just make sure your neighbours are also at the party. They might not be as appreciate of the ‘Fairytale of New York’ rendition if they’re hearing it from next door.

Make sure there’s food and drink for everyone

Jesus may have been a socialist, but we have capitalism to thank for the array of Christmas-themed snacks, desserts, food and drinks one can buy in December. As host you need to find out if your guests have any special dietary requirements (yet another use for the Facebook events page). This way you can make sure there’s enough lactose-free eggnog or vegetarian options if needs be. When it comes to drinks, you can ask guests to bring booze and mixers for their own festive cocktails, but should nonetheless provide some form of either mulled wine or peppermint punch. Don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic options for anyone who isn’t drinking.

Merry decor sets the mood

You could grab the nearest rudolph decorations you see at TK Maxx…or you could put some time and thought into creating truly fantastic DIY decor for your party. Head to Pinterest and get inspired by glitter and sparkles, tinsel and holly, snowflakes and stars. Most importantly, however, is that you don’t forget the mistletoe! Just don’t get stuck under it with Adam from accounting.

Arrange for guest transport.

Simplify transport for your guests by pre-arranging a taxi deal or carpool prior to the night’s end. Plenty of app-based transport and taxi firms will allow for this kind of cost-efficient deal, meaning your guests can relax and enjoy the party in the knowledge that getting home will be a straightforward affair.

There you have it – ten tips to planning the biggest and best Christmas party of the year! Everyone loves to celebrate this festive season with friends and family, so treat them to an event they’ll remember for years to come (and not just because of the embarrassing bourbon-induced incidents that inevitably occur).