If you’re looking for hints and tips on throwing the perfect Christmas party then look no further. Today, I’m handing over the Little Babble reigns to Nat from Help I’m Getting Married to share a post all about her tips and advice on hosting the perfect Christmas party.
Hosting the Perfect Christmas Party
As much as I love giving and receiving presents at Christmas, the real pleasure for me comes from spending time with family and friends. And whilst it feels like getting all of my loved ones in one room is growing increasingly difficult with every passing year, Christmas is the one time where there is no room for excuses. Without sounding like I’m quoting a line from a classic gangster movie, at Christmastime, it’s family over everything. It’s one of the few points in the year where most people will take annual leave at the same time, and will hopefully be in good spirits. It’s a time to catch up with those distant cousins or friends that live on the other side of the country. It’s a time to eat and drink whatever you like before you swear to yourself in January that this is the year you finally get fit.
Of course, all of this extra socializing means that inevitably you are likely to have to play hostess at some point over the festive period. But there is no getting away from the fact that hosting at Christmastime can be incredibly stressful, whether it’s a casual dinner party, or a more civilized drinks and canapes evening. I have spent many an evening running between the kitchen and living room to check on the dinner whilst only catching the tail end of stories, or trying to talk to guests whilst subtly checking if their drinks need topping up.
But after many years of practice, I feel like I have finally mastered the art of hosting a Christmas party, and am all too happy to be able to share my top festive tips!
Winter Warmer Cocktails
If your friends and relatives are anything like mine, then alcohol features heavily at Christmastime. A great way to get your guests in the party spirit is to make some festive cocktails to greet them with upon arrival. I’ve tried out many options over the years, but the cocktails that have always gone down best are the ones that incorporate the smells and flavours that we associate with this time of year. Rather than mulled red wine, why not serve mulled white wine using dried apricots and honey? Or my own personal favourite, a winter whiskey sour with decorative edible gold glitter to really dazzle your guests.
Christmas Party Decorations
A key player at any Christmas party is the decorations, and over the years I have found that making a little extra effort in dressing the table or room can really add to the festive atmosphere.
If you’re hosting a sit-down meal then think about a festive centerpiece. It shouldn’t take up too much precious table space, but centerpieces are a great way of creating height on your Christmas dinner table. If you’ve got a bigger budget, then you might consider hiring luxury party planners to look after the decorations for you, but DIY decorations work equally as well if you are particularly good at crafts. Personal taste will off course play a big part, but there are plenty of festive ideas out there if you are thinking about creating your own centerpiece, table settings or decorations.
However it’s equally as important not to be too overambitious. I speak from experience when I say that snow in a can will not make your house look like a winter wonderland, but it will make a huge mess. So make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Christmas Party Music
After you’ve spent a lot of time carefully selecting cocktails and decorations, the next priority for any Christmas party is the playlist. Everyone loves those classic Christmas songs, but walking in to a party that has ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ on full volume before you have even had a drink can feel a little overwhelming. Create a playlist that starts with more mellow songs, and increases in tempo as the evening draws on. Save those big Christmas hits to the end, stand back and watch as your nearest and dearest belt out the lyrics to ‘Fairytale of New York’ with all the festive enthusiasm they can muster.
Whilst this might not sound like a particularly glamourous thing to think about when planning a Christmas party, considering the layout of the space will work wonders once your guests arrive. If your dining table is in a different room to your kitchen, perhaps you can set up a side table with spare napkins, barware and other essentials to stop you running back and forth. Or if you are hosting a drinks evening, think about setting up a bar area so that people can help themselves to drinks as and when they need them. Doing this will not only save you from a lot of running around, but will enable you to actually enjoy the party that you have so carefully planned!
Guest post written by Nat. Nat lives in Brighton with her husband Mike and cat James. She has her husband to thank for getting in to blogging, as his proposal was the inspiration behind her blog, Help I’m Getting Married. Nat loves travelling, cocktails and of of course, writing! You can find her tweeting @martinnathalie9.