Almost everyone would agree that Christmas is the perfect time to throw a party. However, planning such an event is sometimes a challenging endeavor. If you want to organize a holiday party but are feeling a bit overwhelmed, follow these simple tips to get you on the right track:
Even before you send out invitations, you must first determine whether you want a formal sitdown dinner, a buffet affair or something in between, such as a cocktail party. If you are looking for the easiest option, consider a buffet style event, as it is not difficult to keep the dishes warm while guests help themselves. It also eliminates the fatigue of serving course after course to your visitors. I you do decide on buffet-style, JoJo recommends this fabulous Sunvivi buffet set.
Although a sitdown dinner is more work, if you enjoy formal occasions where everyone is dressed to the nines, you will find the effort worthwhile. Just make sure you plan each course well in advance so that the dishes are timed properly and everything is served at the appropriate temperature.
If you are hovering between formal and casual in your mind, a simple cocktail party may be the perfect option. Such parties do not require as much prep time as a buffet or formal dinner. Simply stock your pantry and bar in advance with hors d'oeuvres and beverages so that you only have a few hours of work on the day of the event.
Here are some great mixer tools from Mixology and Craft.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for such a gathering. You may even decide to have a potluck affair or throw a simple pizza party. As long as you invite people whose company you enjoy, you cannot go wrong.
Sending invitations in today’s modern age is one of the least difficult tasks you’ll ever do when organizing a party. This is because you can send paper invitations, email your prospective guests, contact people on Facebook or another social media site, or phone each guest for a personal touch. Nevertheless, timing is an important part of this task that is often overlooked. December calendars fill up very quickly. For this reason, even if it seems premature, invite your guests approximately four weeks in advance to your holiday party.
Here are some Christmas party printed invitation choices from JoJo's Amazon page.
Inexpensive items can be used to decorate a beautiful Christmas mantel
Fortunately, small decorations can have a big impact. Do not fall into the trap of thinking your home must rival Martha Stewart’s. Using poinsettias or other Christmas flowers as centerpieces and strategically placing holiday candles or mistletoe and Ivy in various locations can quickly create the desired atmosphere. There is no need to go over the top with decorations, as your home is likely already sporting a Christmas tree, wreaths and other holiday adornments. Simply focus on the “finishing touches” and your decor will be a success.
Christmas centerpieces from JoJo's Amazon page.
If you’re planning a holiday party on a budget, there are numerous things you can do to avoid sticker shock when you see your total bill.
Have a Potluck Party
As previously mentioned, a potluck party is always a fun option and it is a particularly nice choice around Christmas. This is because many people enjoy showing off their cooking and baking skills, and therefore are more than happy to arrive with a covered dish in hand. This makes the affair pleasant and casual, as well as easy on your wallet.
There is no need to purchase brand-name items when you are shopping for pretzels, chips, nuts, eggnog or other party staples. This is because no one will be able to tell the difference anyway. Going generic on these items allows you to save your money for meats, cheeses and other items where spending more has a bigger impact on quality.
Pass on the Fancy Invitations
Use a social media messenger or simply call your guests instead of buying fancy invitations. Most people expect invitations to come via cyberspace anyway, so you need not worry about offending anyone and you can save money in the process.
Once you have determined the type of party you want to have and have given thought to your budget, it’s time to select a theme. If you want your party to stand out from the other events your guests are attending this year, try some of these interesting ideas:
Hold a Masquerade
Virtually everyone enjoys a masquerade. Guests can go all out in a rented costume or simply dress to the nines and add a fancy, elaborate mask as the finishing touch. Partygoers usually enjoy the element of mystery, as well as coming up with a costume. Schedule an official “unveiling” at a specific time so guests can interact with each other as everyone’s mask comes off.
Find a wide variety of masquerade masks on JoJo's Amazon page.
Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
For a low maintenance party that is still a lot of fun, try holding your own Christmas Film Festival. Ask each guest to choose his or her favorite holiday movie, put all the titles in a hat and pull out three to five at random for your Christmas flick marathon. Remember that everyone’s eyes need not be glued to the screen the whole time. Your guests can simultaneously enjoy socializing, having cocktails or exchanging gifts as the movies play in the background. The key with this kind of party is keeping it simple and casual. Of course, consider having some hors d’oeuvres or a few tubs of flavored popcorn to keep your guests satisfied.
July at Christmas
Everyone has heard of Christmas in July parties, and most people have a good time at such events. Try something different this Christmas and pretend it is July during the holiday season. A beach themed event in the darkest month of the year is sure to be a big hit. Use ocean themed Christmas decor throughout your home, serve picnic food and play beach music during your party. Guests are typically pleasantly surprised, as such a party creates a welcomed contrast to the usual humdrum holiday gatherings.
Christmas Carol Karaoke Night
Everybody likes to sing, regardless of whether they have any talent. This can make a very amusing holiday party theme. Host your own Christmas carol karaoke night and allow every guest to sing his or her favorite holiday song. From Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey, there is bound to be a Christmas song for every visitor.
Spice Things Up With a Cocktail Potluck
Everyone knows what a potluck party is, but here is another spin on this timeless classic: ask friends to bring a favorite cocktail mix rather than a covered dish. You will likely end up with every concoction you can imagine, from spiked cocoa or eggnog to candy cane martinis and of course that one special drink no one can quite identify. Consider serving some hors d’oeuvres so that your guests do not get too tipsy by the end of the night.
JoJo thinks these Christmas cocktail picks are just too cute.
Gift Exchange With a Twist
If you are guilty of recycling gifts, you are a member of a very large club. For this reason, consider turning this somewhat tacky approach to gifting into something fun. Have all your friends show up to your party with one of last year’s castoffs, whether a clip-on tie featuring an impossible pattern, a zebra print snuggie he or she will never wear, or that quintessential Christmas knickknack that will never be displayed. Instead of wrapping the gifts, however, simply have people draw numbers and one by one approach the display of rejected presents to choose the one they want. Remember, a gift that one person would speedily return may be snatched up in short order by someone else. This is one of the easiest parties to throw and typically ends up being a hilarious holiday event.
Regardless of which party theme you choose or how much money you intend to spend, planning in advance is an important aspect. With proper organization and a little creativity, you can throw the best party on the block this holiday season.